17th October: A leading Kenyan Parliamentarian and WFP and UNICEF in Kenya joined Development Pathways in backing a universal child disability benefit for the nation at an event yesterday.
Senator Isaac Maura, chair of Kenya’s Disability Parliamentary Association, David Kamau, Safety Nets Policy Officer, WFP Kenya, Ousmane Niang, Chief of Social Policy, UNICEF Kenya threw their weight behind the recommendation in a new report on disability-inclusive social protection launched at the conference. Authored by the late Krystle Kabare, and linked to UK Department for International Development research on achieving disability-inclusive social protection, Social Protection and Disability in Kenya stated the benefit would “relieve the burden on the household as they also incur opportunity costs due to their caregiving responsibilities”.
Stephen Kidd, Senior Social Policy Officer, giving the memorial lecture in memory of Krystle Kabare at the Building a Disability-Inclusive Social Protection for Kenya event, outlined the evidence for a 2,000 KES benefit for all children with a severe disability. He said this would compensate for additional costs in accessing education and employment and allow lives of dignity and yet costing only 0.08% of GDP.
The panelists backed his call to extend the Persons with Disability Cash Transfer, currently only reaching 52,000 people, with a focus on children – with Stephen Kidd outlining this would entail covering 309,000 children.
Brand TV Kenya, covering the event, reported that social protection can enable persons with disabilities to “overcome barriers they face, including the higher costs of living and lower incomes” (see above).