Kenya is set to roll out a cash transfer program for persons over 70 years with effect from January 2018, a government official said on Thursday.

The new program seeks to directly protect and reduce vulnerability of Kenyans in the age bracket of 70 years and above.

“We are registering older persons aged 70 and above all over the country with effect from July 5,” the Principal Secretary, State Department of Social Protection, Ministry of East Africa Community, Labor and Social Protection, Susan Mochache told a stakeholders forum in Nairobi.

Mochache noted that those who may not travel to the government’s offices due to sickness will be traced and get registered alongside their caregivers from their homes beginning end of August 2017.

Kenya, which launched Older Persons Cash Transfer Program (OPCT), has been paying people aged 65 and above 20 U.S. dollars per month that translates to 130 million dollars.

The government has increased the kitty to dollars 210 million to enhance and expand the existing OPCT into a more inclusive program that provides transfers to all older persons aged 70 years and above.

The 500,000 additional older persons will join the 324,000 Older Persons that are already benefitting from cash transfer.

“The impact of cash transfers is seen through improved livelihoods of beneficiaries and a sense of dignity instilled in them,” she noted.

Mochache called on stakeholders attending the launch to help develop a clear road map for rolling out the program and also create awareness about the initiative.

“We want your feedback and support on the initiative to ensure the program kicks off on the right footing and to mobilize older persons around the country to register in big numbers,” she added.

She revealed that the government plans to increase the total allocation from the current 0.2 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to finally match with the 14 percent that is the trend in the world.

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In rolling out this program, Kenya now joins South Africa, Mozambique, Nigeria, Botswana, Lesotho, countries that have launched their programs. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh