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M-PESA agent shops to facilitate the disbursement of Government Social Protection Fund.

In a partnership between the Government of Kenya and Safaricom, the beneficiaries of the government’s social protection fund for the elderly, orphans and disabled will soon start receiving their stipends from M-PESA agents situated in their respective localities.

The program, started in 2015 by retired President Uhuru Kenyatta, gives beneficiaries Sh2,000 every month to help them cope with hunger and poverty.

During this year’s Jamhuri Day celebration, President William Ruto announced that the government has teamed up with Safaricom to provide the service without any fees. The move is set to cushion the beneficiaries from the logistical expenses incurred on bank withdrawals, travelling long distances to receive the cash and other inconveniences.

“This programme has had challenges with the beneficiaries travelling long distances and spending considerable portions of their stipend on logistics. Working with Safaricom, we have structured a new delivery mechanism for beneficiaries to receive their stipends from MPESA agents in their localities,” said The Head of State.

The president revealed that orphans and individuals with severe disabilities will initiate the new process this month, while the elderly will start in January 2024.

The President also mentioned that the government has set aside an extra 2 billion shillings for new beneficiaries of the cash transfer program who are currently being verified. He stated that their stipends will start being paid out from March next year.

Tasked with disbursing funds to eligible beneficiaries, M-Pesa agents play a pivotal role in streamlining the process.

“I commend Safaricom for demonstrating corporate patriotism and providing this service free of charge,” said the President.

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The President further mentioned that 1,233,149 beneficiaries got their stipends on time, beating the schedule for paying public servants, including himself.

“We made a commitment to our dear citizens, who are elderly, orphaned and those who live with severe disability, that they shall receive their social protection stipends before public servants, including the President, receive their salaries. We have kept our word and delivered on this commitment,” he declared.

President Ruto said that for the new beneficiaries, an extra Ksh.2 billion has been set aside. The payments will start in March next year after the verification process.

“We have allocated an additional KSh.2 billion for newly enrolled beneficiaries who are undergoing verification and will begin to receive their stipends beginning March next year,” Said Ruto

The Mpesa agents are now strategically positioned to efficiently manage the distribution of social protection benefits, ensuring that recipients receive their payouts promptly and securely. Leveraging the established M-Pesa infrastructure, these agents act as key enablers in the effective implementation of social protection programs, contributing to a more inclusive and accessible disbursement mechanism.

The Government of Kenya has made social protection a priority in its policy and programming. As part of the government’s initiatives to improve and enhance social protection in the country, much focus and attention has been placed on the cash transfer social assistance programs through the establishment of the National Safety Net Program (NSNP) in 2013.

The goal of social protection is to ensure that all Kenyans live in dignity and can exploit their human capabilities for their own social and economic wellbeing. Investing in social assistance improves the livelihoods of beneficiaries and in turn contributes to national development.

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The NSNP is an important contribution to the government’s efforts to reduce poverty and the vulnerability of the population to economic, social, and natural shocks and stresses.

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