PRESS STATEMENT ON THE CONSULTATIVE MEETING OF GOVERNMENT OF KENYA AND DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS ON THE DROUGHT SITUATION

This morning, the Government of Kenya and the development partners held a consultative meeting on the drought situation in the Arid and Semi-Arid counties.

As you are aware, His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta declared the drought a national disaster on September 8, 2021.

Today’s meeting received a brief status report on the drought situation and highlights of the long rains assessment report. 23 arid and semi-arid counties are experiencing drought as a result of 4 successive failed rain seasons. Currently, the number of people facing acute food insecurity is 4.1 million up from 3.5 million in March 2022. Based on the IPC Food Insecurity Phase Classification,3 counties are in Emergency, 8 counties are in Crisis, 12 counties are Stressed and 24 counties are yet to be assessed.

The government of Kenya has scaled up its drought mitigation efforts and to date has spent approximately KES. 12.6 billion on interventions which have been achieved through the support and collaboration with development partners, humanitarian agencies, the private sector and other non-state actors.

Despite the interventions, the persistent drought has left the country with a resource gap of more than KES. 15 billion for interventions required in critical sectors of food security, health and nutrition, water, agriculture, livestock and education.

According to the weather report, there will be depressed rainfall across all the Arid and Semi-Arid counties during the October-December 2022 rainfall season due to La Nina hence the prospect of a 5th failed rain season. Consequently, the number of people in need of relief assistance could, therefore, rise to 4.35 million by December 2022.

Our meeting today has underscored the urgent need for enhanced coordination and the scaling up of more measures to address the needs of the 4.1 million people in the 23 Arid and Semi-Arid counties who are facing acute food insecurity.

I wish to thank all stakeholders, including our Development Partners, for the continued support to mitigate the impacts of drought. As the Government strives to strengthen partnerships and mobilise resources and coordination at the national and county levels.

As part of this continuing support, we have also today launched Lisha Jamii an initiative established by the World Food Programme that will provide food assistance to 535,000 (89,000 families) across 12 counties that are facing acute food insecurity. The targetted counties are Turkana, Samburu, Isiolo, Garissa, Tana River, Baringo, Mandera, Wajir, Kitui, Kilifi, Kwale and Marsabit. The food assistance will be provided for six months through both cash transfers and in-kind with beneficiary families set to receive KSh 6,500 per month.

KENYA RECEIVES KES. 29 BILLION FROM THE US GOVERNMENT FOR DROUGHT.

The Government of Kenya has received humanitarian aid worth KES. 29 Billion (USD 255) from the US Government through USAID to help address the ongoing drought situation in arid and semi-arid counties.

In her address during a press briefing held after a roundtable discussion between Kenya and USAID on the drought situation and the ongoing response, Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Margaret Kobia thanked the US Government for the continued support to Kenya and the donation of KES. 29 billion which she noted will go a long way to complement the government’s efforts in managing the drought situation.

“We appreciate the US government for its continued support to Kenya and the donation it has made today of KES. 29 Billion which will assist 4.1. million people who are facing acute food insecurity in Kenya,” she said.

The Cabinet Secretary noted that the funds would complement the government’s efforts in managing the drought situation.

Currently, the government has scaled up its drought mitigation efforts and to date has spent approximately KES. 12.6 billion on various interventions.

The mitigation measures, the Cabinet Secretary noted, have been achieved through the support and collaboration of development partners, humanitarian agencies, the private sector and other non-state actors.

In her remarks, Administrator Samantha Power said that the US and Kenya enjoy a cordial relationship and that the US will continue to support Kenya, especially during the drought period that was declared a national disaster by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

NATIONAL TITLING PROGRAMME IN THARAKA NITHI AND EMBU COUNTIES

The Cabinet Secretary for Public Service, Gender, Senior Citizens Affairs and Special Programmes, Prof. Margaret Kobia on Wednesday 13th July and Thursday 14th July issued 17,943 title deeds in Tharaka Nithi County and 9347 title deeds in Embu County respectively.


The exercise follows the launch of the National Titling Programme by His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta on 22nd June 2022, which will see the issuance of 1 million title deeds by 20th July 2022.


In her address, the Cabinet Secretary praised the National Titling Programme which she noted had made it possible for marginalized communities to own land and therefore be empowered economically.
She also commended the digitalisation of land ownership through the Ardhisasa Programme and said that it is a tremendous reform measure that will ensure ease of doing business and reduce land fraud.


The 1 million title deeds that will be issued during this period are out of the 6 million title deeds issued under President Uhuru’s administration as compared to 5.6 million title deeds issued by previous administrations.


The issuance of title deeds is a key component of His Excellency’s administration’s transformative agenda for the country to resolve historical issues that have existed on land ownership.

Commissioning of Office Administrative Personnel

The 1st Cohort of Office Administrative Personnel Mentorship Champions drawn from Ministries/Departments have been officially commissioned today at a colourful event held at a Nairobi hotel.


The programme which was introduced in 2019 is geared towards facilitating a relationship in which experienced Office Administrators share knowledge and experiences with Mentees working in respective Ministries/Departments/Counties and Parastatals towards a mutually beneficial professional development.


In his keynote address, Principal Administrative Secretary and Deputy Head of Public Service, Mr. Kennedy Kihara said that the Office Administrative Personnel are very critical officers in Government because they handle very sensitive documents and information therefore strict management of government communication is important.


On her part, State Department for Public Service Principal Secretary, Mrs Mary Kimonye said that the Mentors drawn from the public service will be useful in building competencies in application of existing public service policies, guidelines and procedures, as well as interdepartmental engagement on Office Administrative Services issues.


“It is my hope that you will be able to induct new entrants in the Service by inculcating the professional ethos while enhancing the skills of those in Service and bring back solidity values and principles that define the Office Administrative Personnel cadre,” said Mrs Kimonye.


The Principal Secretary also called upon the mentors to adhere to the values they learned through the programme in order to transform the Service for the current and future generations.
The State Department supports mentoring as a way of enabling officers to become accomplished, productive and successful in their chosen endeavours, and in sustaining their professional vitality, both now and in the future.


Also present was Huduma Kenya CEO Mr. James Buyekane and Directors of Human Resource Management from various Ministries/Departments.

Launch of a study on “Engendering Fiscal Stimulus Packages and Recovery Efforts Adopted in Response to the COVID-19 Health and Economic Crisis.”

Cabinet Secretary Prof. Margaret Kobia has today presided over the launch of a study on “Engendering Fiscal Stimulus Packages and Recovery Efforts Adopted in Response to the COVID-19 Health and Economic Crisis.”


The study which assesses gender responsiveness of the fiscal and economic stimulus package and provides recommendations for making these packages more gender-responsive for better economic recovery outcomes is a joint initiative between the government and UN Women.


In her keynote address during the launch event held at a Nairobi Hotel, Prof. Kobia said that the effect of the pandemic had a gender dimension driven by the feminization of sectoral participation, high informality of women’s economic activities, gender-based violence and the burden of unpaid care work all of which adversely and disproportionately lean towards women.


“ The recommendations of the study we launched today seek to ensure the needs of women, men, girls and boys are taken into account during the implementation of economic stimulus packages and that they will promote the development and implementation of Special Programmes for Women Economic Empowerment (WEE) in the country,” said Prof. Kobia.


UN Women Country Representative Ms Anna Mutavati stated that as an entity for gender equality and women’s empowerment UN Women endeavors to ensure that no one is left behind in the development agenda.


“We know that gender equality and women’s empowerment are prerequisites for strong institutions, stable communities, and economies. Evidence from all around the world shows that investing in women’s economic empowerment sets a direct path towards gender equality, inclusive economic growth, and wealth creation,” said Ms. Mutavati.


On his part, MacDonald Obudho, Director General Kenya Bureau of Statistics said that Based on the results of these surveys and other considerations, the Government sustained COVID-19 containment measures and phased them out in stages while implementing other measures geared towards alleviating the negative impacts of the pandemic. These included fiscal measures such as increased budgetary support to health services, economic stimulus and tax reliefs as well
as monitory measures.


“I am impressed that the report of the study we are launching today is based on credible evidence of the impact COVID 19 has had onour economy and well-being of Kenyans. Further I note that, it is the opportune time to launch the study report on Engendering Fiscal Stimulus Packages and Recovery Efforts Adopted in Response to the COVID-19 Health and Economic crises this time economy is emerging from the slump,”said Mr. Obudho.


In Kenya, 332,000 people have contracted the COVID-19 virus while 5652 succumbed to date. The Kenya economy was also affected, with the GDP reducing from 5 per cent in 2019 to 0-0.3% in 2020.

Celebration of International Widows Day 2022

State Department for Gender Chief Administrative Secretary Hon. Dr. Jebii Kilimo presided over the International Widows Day 2022 event themed; “Dignity -Economic Empowerment and Social Justice for Widows.”


International Widows Day sheds light on the epidemic of widowhood, a humanitarian crisis that has gone unnoticed for long.


In her keynote address during the event held in Siaya County yesterday, Hon Linah Jebii Kilimo highlighted that the Ministry is happy to work with Widows of Kenya and to see their lives changing because they have a difficult task of taking care of the family in the absence of their spouses.


“As a Ministry, we are committed to supporting women through empowerment programmes and that’s why we came up with Thamini loan to help uplift the livelihood for widows, we commit to work with you in addressing injustices and any other issues that affect widows” said Hon. Kilimo.


Come Together Widows and Orphans Organization founder Ms Dianah Kamande said that the organisation will at all time continue to protect and safeguard the rights of widows and orphans.
“I would like to call on State and non state actors to work together in ensuring Widows are protected” said Ms Kamande.


Widows and their children make upto 15% of the world’s population which translated to 258 million widows, 115 million of whom live in extreme poverty, according to a 2010 study.


Women Enterprise Fund disbursed Ksh 30 Million to various women groups in Siaya County .
The Ministry of Public Service, Gender, SeniorCitizensAffairs and Special Programmes has been in the front line in Making Widows Matter by Empowering them Economically through Thamini Mjane Special Loan Product which was specifically tailor made for Widows by Women Enterprise Fund.
Also present was ; Hon. James Orengo, Senator Siaya County, Ms Bernadette Loloju CEO Anti FGM Board, Mr. Peter Lengapiani, CEO Uwezo Fund, Commissioner Njoki Kahiga Chairperson WEF.

Celebration of Africa Public Service Day 2022

The Head of Public Service, Dr. Joseph Kinyua on Thursday 23rd June presided over the celebration of Africa Public Service Day (APSD) at KICC, Nairobi.


APSD is an African Union calendar event celebrated annually to reflect on the efficiency of public service delivery and also to take cognizance of the achievements made in public service transformation.
In his keynote address, Dr. Kinyua acknowledged the government’s effort in creating an inclusive environment for the youth who are important in the use of technology to enable innovative public service delivery.


“As we balance between a sophisticated young citizenry and limited resources, it is of fundamental importance that the public servant is innovative, prudent and resourceful to ensure we meet the expectations,” he said.


The Africa Public Service Day celebration was a 3-day affair that brought together Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and the County Government who showcased outstanding innovations that have transformed public service delivery at an exhibition which commenced on the 21st June to 23rd of June.


While recognising the role of the youth in driving change, Public Service Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Margaret Kobia highlighted the need to focus on the youth in harnessing their skills for digital transformation in the delivery of services.


“The government is implementing a robust Public Service Internship Programme that will equip interns with practical work experience to strengthen their capabilities for accessing employment. While they undertake this programme we should tap into their digital skills,” said Prof. Kobia.
The ceremony included an award ceremony for government institutions that have excelled in public service delivery innovations.

Hon. Shebesh hosts Day of the African Child in Kajiado County

Chief Administrative Secretary, Hon. Rachel Shebesh has urged state and non-state actors to work expeditiously to eliminate harmful practices affecting children in Kenya.


Hon. Rachel Shebesh was speaking on 16th June when she presided over the celebration of the Day of the African Child at Elangata Wuas Primary School in Kajiado County.


The Day of the African Child brings together Governments, UN Agencies, International Organizations, NGOs, CSOs and other relevant stakeholders once a year to renew the ongoing engagements towards the protection and assistance of children affected by harmful practices.


The Chief Administrative Secretary highlighted the need to accelerate the elimination of harmful practices and called on the local Administrators to enhance their operations and arrest the perpetrators.
“We must assess where we are as far as protecting children from harmful practices such as Female Genital Mutilation and Child Marriage and it must start from the grassroots,” she said.


Every year on June 16th, governments and other stakeholders gather in memory of the 1976 massacre of children in Soweto to reflect on the status of the rights and welfare of children in Africa.


First celebrated in Kenya in 1991, this day provides an opportunity to take stock of the gains that have been made to safeguard the rights and welfare of children and identify gaps.


Also present at the event were representatives from Africa Union, UNICEF Kenya and National and County Government officials.

Prof. Kobia hosts AGA Award dinner event

Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Margaret Kobia hosted a dinner event on Tuesday night in honour of H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta who received the Africa Gender Award 2022.


His Excellency received the award from the Gender is my Agenda Campaign Network (GIMAC) at an event ceremony held at State House, Nairobi.


GIMAC also awarded the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) in the private sector category and the Centre for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW) in the civil society category respectively for their role in the promotion of gender equality and women empowerment in Kenya.


In her keynote remarks, Prof. Kobia lauded President Uhuru’s continental recognition as well as KEPSA and CREAW for putting Kenya on the map yet again.


“We are proud as a nation, we are proud as women of Kenya, these awards are as a result of the tremendous effort, collaboration and partnership we have in addressing gender equality and women empowerment,” said Prof. Kobia.


Ms Betina Diop, the African Union special envoy on Women Peace and Security congratulated President Uhuru Kenyatta, KEPSA and CREAW for receiving the prestigious award.


“You have done a wonderful job, you have touched and impacted the lives of women, girls and boys, you deserve this honour and we are proud of you,” said Ms. Diop.


Oh her part, State department for Gender, Principal Secretary Prof Collete Suda underscored the fact that team work between various players in the gender sector is the reason Kenya managed to scoop the awards.


“This is the best time for a woman in Kenya because everything is happening now, this occasion marks the beginning of greater things for the women, Prof. Suda said.


Under His Excellency’s leadership, Kenya achieved eleven out of twelve operative articles of the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa (SDGEA). The award is based on three thematic indices namely HIV Index, Education Index and Gender Parity Index.


The African Gender Forum is a gender platform for the women of Africa to forge their own strategic path regarding relevant actors and partners whilst the African Gender award serves as a mechanism to monitor and reward an African Head of State or Government who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in promoting gender equality and development within the thematic areas of the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa.


The Award is based on country performance measured by the scientifically developed Solemn Declaration Index, SDI and the SDI score card. The SDI) was initiated by GIMAC (Gender is My Agenda Campaign) with the leadership of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and African Union Commission (AUC).


In the past the Award, recognized every 2 years, an African Head of State or Government for showing an outstanding contribution to Gender Parity. The African Gender Forum & Award is accompanied by two other in-country recognitions: to a member of the Private sector that promotes gender equality in the economic spheres; and to a women’s organization among the civil society for its commitment to mainstreaming the gender agenda.

State Department for Gender co-hosts a GBV Scientific Conference with State Department for Health

In partnership with the Ministry of Health, we are co-hosting a Gender-Based Violence Prevention and Response Scientific Conference at the Kenya School of Government in Nairobi. The objective of the conference which will run from 8th to 10th June is to strengthen multi-sectoral prevention and response against Gender-Based Violence in Kenya.


Principal Secretary for State Department for Gender, Prof. Collette Suda who attended the opening ceremony yesterday, noted that the conference was timely as Kenya marks the first anniversary since H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta made twelve commitments and launched a road map on advancing gender equality and the elimination of all forms of Gender-Based Violence and Female Genital Mutilation by 2026 in Kenya.


“In June 2021, Kenya participated in the Generation Equality Forum in Paris where H.E. President made 12 commitments that focus on strengthening accountability on enforcement and implementation of GBV laws and policies, increased financing and budgetary allocation for GBV programming, enhancing service delivery for survivors and strengthening utilisation of data among others,” she said.


Prof. Suda described the conference yesterday as an opportunity to commemorate the first anniversary and demonstrate the milestones achieved in translating the 12 commitments into action. Among the key achievements that she highlighted include the submission of GBV sub-indicators on implementation of laws for inclusion in the Performance Contracts of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for the financial year 2022/2023, the investment in GBV and FGM programming through financial and technical support from development partners and the establishment of a three-tier leadership structure which comprises the National Advisory Committee, the National Steering Committee and a Secretariat.

The scientific conference will explore the progress made and lessons learned over the COVID -19 pandemic period in closing GBV prevention and response gaps. It will provide an opportunity to showcase successes, to learn and create momentum for GBV prevention and response beyond mitigation.


The forum will document shared challenges and strengthen partnerships for a robust response, especially during humanitarian and conflict situations. It is expected that through the forum there will be enhanced preparedness for GBV prevention and response in Kenya during adversity including the upcoming electioneering period.


The Ministry of Health (MOH) is a first responder in mitigating the health-related effects of GBV while working within a multi-sectoral response. MOH is core in facilitating efficient referral pathways by maintaining linkages with other sectors. It also plays a critical role in changing community norms and attitudes through information, education and communication. MOH is also a credible source of data and information for policymaking and accountability.


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