Kenya plans to spend 53.7 billion shillings to stimulate growth and cushion families during the Covid-19 crisis.
President Uhuru Kenyatta in a televised address to the nation Saturday issued an eight-point Economic Stimulus Program which will focus on eight sectors of the economy namely infrastructure, education, health, medium, and small enterprises, agriculture, tourism, environment, and manufacturing.
“This COVID-19 pandemic is not only a health crisis, it is fundamentally an economic crisis. Jobs have been lost, businesses have closed and the economy is on a go-slow. To combat the effects of this down-turn, my Administration has had to take additional measures,” said President Uhuru in his seventh presidential address.
“The injection of this money into the economy will stimulate growth and cushion families and companies as we navigate our way out the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The biggest beneficiaries of the stimulus program include the education ministry which will receive 6.5 billion shillings, to hire 10,000 teachers and 1,000 ICT interns to support digital learning.
A further three billion shillings will be set aside for the agricultural sector for the supply of farm inputs through e-vouchers, targeting 200,000 small scale farmers.
“I have told my Cabinet Secretaries that we cannot stay in lockdown forever. But if we open up the country by lifting the restrictions and the virus continues to spread, it will be our fault for not taking the precautions outlined,” President Kenyatta said.
Kenya has cumulatively tested 57,650 samples, out of which 1,192 persons have tested positive for the Coronavirus disease, with 50 deaths.
As a result, the president said they intend to hire an additional 5,000 healthcare workers with diploma/certificate – level qualification for a period of one year.
“This will not only enhance our COVID-19 response capability but also enhance the implementation of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) programme.”
The stimulus programme will set aside Ksh.1.7 Billion for the expansion of bed capacity in public hospitals.