VITA Magazine » COMMUNITAS » Yalla Italia! » SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER »

Article written

  • on 22.10.2015
  • at 11:21 AM
  • by Kimberley Evans

Africa’s Senior Citizens Cornered By Poverty 0

NAIROBI and HARARE, Oct 21 2015 (IPS) – Kenya has made tremendous steps towards ensuring that the elderly population does not slide into extreme poverty, hunger and, consequently, premature death.

This comes amidst concerns that due to the breakdown of socio-cultural safety nets, Africa’s senior citizens aged 60 years and above are often falling deeper and deeper into poverty and destitution.

Government estimates places the number of Kenyans aged over 60 years at two million out of a total population of 45 million people.

Beatrice Akoth, a social worker working with the needy in Nairobi told IPS that a vast majority of the elderly are often fragile, poor and emotionally vulnerable needing care and support.

“Many of us are guardians caring for HIV/AIDS orphans, some like myself are HIV positive,” said Diana Ingosi, a beneficiary living in the Kibera slums.

Against this backdrop and in line with the country’s National Policy on Older Persons and Ageing 2009 and the Kenya Social Protection Policy 2011, Kenya has developed a cash transfer programme as social protection that serves the non pensionable and aged Kenyans who are not formally employed.

The programme targets those aged 65 and over who have no pension or any source of income whatsoever. They also must prove that they are the poorest of the poor to receive some 20 dollars at the end of each month.

Previously, the government’s social protection of the elderly was through social security for those in formal employment, particularly through the National Social Security Fund, leaving those in the formal sector unprotected.

Government statistics show that some 59,000 senior citizens are benefitting from the cash transfer programme but the numbers are expected to rise to at least 164,000 or a minimum of 523 people in each of the country’s 290 constituencies.

Continue reading on IPS Africa

by Miriam Gathigah and Jeffrey Moyo

Photo Credit Jeffrey Moyo

subscribe to comments RSS

Comments are closed

Project by VITA SOCIETÀ EDITORIALE S.P.A.
P.IVA 11273390150
ISCRIZIONE ROC N.3275
Direttore Responsabile afronline.org: Giuseppe Frangi
©2011-2015