The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: State to Use Sh276 Million On Street Children

The government has committed Sh276 million towards the rehabilitation of the street children in Kenya. Labour Secretary Kazungu Kambi said the government has laid down "elaborate social protection policies cash transfer programmes", which are aimed at improving lives of vulnerable groups.

Addressing a special focus session on African children at the 2014 annual session of the UNICEF Executive Board meeting in New York America, US, yesterday, Kambi said this year, orphans and vulnerable children, persons with disabilities and elderly will receive Sh12 billion in cash transfers.

He said conflicts and strife which disrupt schooling and access to other basic services are major impediments to the realisation of children's rights.

Kambi said the evaluation carried out on the cash transfer programmes has helped to reduce poverty, improve diets and increase school enrolment.

He said Kenya has made deliberate interventions to reduce child mortality through enhanced immunisation coverage, provision of insecticide treated mosquito nets, free maternity care in government hospitals and free treatment of children under five years in government hospitals.

Kambi said the introduction of free primary education in 2003 increased enrolment of children in schools. He said the situation analysis carried out indicated that there has been steady progress towards gender parity in primary schools.

"The introduction of free secondary education has led to the improvement of quality education, retention, completion and transition rates especially for girls," Kambi said.

The Cabinet Secretary commended the role played by UNICEF and other partners in supporting the government to improve the welfare of children.

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