On 5th July 2017, the Ministry of East African Community, Labour and Social Protection (MEACLSP) launched a new social assistance unconditional cash transfer programme known as the "Inua Jamii 70 years and above cash transfer programme". The programme was launched by Mrs.Phylis Kandie- Cabinet Secretary (MEALSP). Inua Jamii 70years and above targets Kenyan Citizens that are 70 years and above. This unconditional cash transfer programme is regarded as a non-contributory social pension for the senior citizens. The programme is aimed at delivering regular bi-monthly cash transfers of Kshs. 4,000 per individual starting January 2018 through active bank accounts. Registration of the programme will take place between 3rd July and 31st August 2017, though it will continue beyond August.
The announcement in the Cabinet Secretary for Finance’s budget speech of March 2017 of the introduction of a universal pension scheme for every one aged 70years and above to commence in January 2018 is a further significant step forward for Kenya,since this will be the first individual entitlement social protection scheme in the country. In addition, the budget for Inua Jamii 70years and above was passed by the National Parliament during the budget speech of June 2017 by Henry Rotich, the Cabinet Secretary of Treasury.
Delivery of social assistance in form of cash transfers to the most vulnerable 70years and above senior Citizens has been one of the objective of the current Government under the Social Protection of the Vision 2030's Social Pillar. It is envisioned that by providing the bi-monthly, regular and unconditional cash transfers to the 70years and above Senior Citizens, it will provide them with the much needed social support required to access social services in health and other amenities. In addition, the Government will provide National Health Insurance Fund cards that will be a value added complementary support to the Inua Jamii 70 and above cash transfer programme.
Currently, the National government supports four uncondicational cash transfer programmes: Hunger Safety Net Programme (in four poorest and Arid Counties of Turkana, Wajir, Mandera and Marsabit), Older Persons Cash transfers (OPCT), Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC-CT) and Persons with severe disabilities (PWSD-CT). Collectively, more than 600,000 households are receiving cash tranfers across the 47 counties. The commitment by the government to enhance and expand the existing Older Persons Cash Transfer Programme (OPCT) into a more inclusive programme that provides transfers to all older persons aged 70 years is informed in part by a feasibility study commissioned by the HelpAge International, an international NGO that advocates for the rights of older persons in 2011 together with the then, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Development, a study tour by the Ministry to Brazil and numerous consultations and negotiations within government and other stakeholders.