President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced plans to help businesses and Kenyans survive the economic storm caused by the coronavirus pandemic with a stimulus package worth Ksh. 53.7BN.
Kenyatta made the announcement from State House, Nairobi on Saturday as the global economy stares at recession caused by the effects of the coronavirus disease.
The first element in Kenyatta’s 8 – point stimulus programme will focus on infrastructure with a total of 5 Billion set aside to hire local labour to engage in this undertaking.
The second element is on stimulus program is on education to support continuity of studies for children. 6.5 Billion has been allocated to hire 10,000 teachers and 1000 ICT interns to support digital learning.
Ksh. 10 Billion in the stimulus program will target Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s), the liquidity of which he said has been adversely affected. This he said will be used to fast track payment of outstanding VAT refunds and other pending payments.
6.5 Billion has been set aside for hiring of 10,000 teachers, 1000 ICT interns improvement of school infrastructure.
5 bn will be used to hire local labour for rehabilitation of access roads and foot bridges.
3 Billion is for supply of farm inputs targeting 200,000 small scale farmers, while 1.5Billion will be set aside to assist flower and horticultural producers to access international markets.
1.7Bn will be allocated to public hospitals for boosting bed capacity while other resources will be injected into medical research facilities.
Uhuru said his government will hire 5,000 more healthcare workers with diploma and certificate education level for one year to enhance the country’s public health system.
A total of 2 Billion will be set aside to support renovation of facilities and restructuring of business operations by actors in the tourism industry, while Ksh. 1 Billion will be used to engage 5500 community scouts under the Kenya Wildlife Service in a bid to revive Kenya’s tourism industry.
In addition, funding will also be set aside to support the operations of premier hospitality institution Utalii College, to guarantee the steady supply of well trained hospitality professionals. Soft loans to Hotels and related establishments through the Tourism Finance Corporation Board (TFC).
1 Billion has been set aside for flood control measures and another 540 million for Greening Kenya Campaign. 850 million will be injected in efforts to mitigate impacts of deforestation and climate change.
Ksh. 600 Million will be used to purchase locally manufactured vehicles in a bid to boost local manufacturing sector.
“We have dispatched sh 250m every week to less fortunate families. We give them directly to avoid people who advantaged themselves in the process.” he stated. The funds to vulnerable families he said will be disbursed weekly through cash transfer program.
Uhuru announced that 31 more people tested positive for coronavirus yesterday in Kenya, raising the total number of confirmed cases to 1192.
“I am comforted by the fact that Kenyans are people who know how to give a good fight. If we stay the course, we shall overcome” Kenyatta said the COVID-19 challenge has put Kenya on a new road and they must continue to acknowledge the unknown and find a way forward.