President Dr. William S. Ruto Officially Opens Kenya Social Protection Conference 2023

social protection conference 2023 opening ceremony WA0080

His Excellency the President Dr. William S. Ruto officiated the opening of the 2023 Kenya Social Protection Conference at the Kenya School of Government, Lower Kabete earlier today.

 The President asserted the Government's commitment in priotizing social protection as it is the backbone of equitable and inclusive development.

"We are confident as a nation and government that we can simultaneously pursue rapid economic transformation and social protection and achieve them both. Social Protection cannot wait until 2030 when we will have achieved our economic vision," he said.

President Ruto added that economic development achieved at the expense of  social protection would be hollow and fragile.

He also committed to expand the existing safety net programmes for the vulnerable and marginalized in the society key among them children, persons with disability and older persons.

Among the commitments President Ruto made during the conference was to fastrack payments of Inua Jamiii cash transfer beneficiaries. ' Cabinet has approved to have payments of Inua Jamii beneficiaries paid before civil servants salaries starting June this year,' he said.

To increase access to food for school going children particularly in informal settlements and ASAL areas, the national government will match funds for counties offering school feeding programmes.

Additionally, the Government will strengthen  collaboration and coordination between the state departments for social protection, agriculture, education and health to tackle malnutrition and undernutrition in children.

Speaking during the event, Hon. Florence Bore, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Social Protection emphasized the need to increase investment in the social protection sector.

"The social protection sector in Kenya comprises 20 million people among them children, persons with disability and older persons yet it attracts only 0.7% of the GDP, " she said.

Dr. Stephen Jackson, United Nations, Resident Cordinater termed social protection as the expressway to sustainable development that leaves no one behind.

Among other guests present during the event were Hon. Rigathi Gachagua, Deputy President, Francis Atwoli, Secretary General, Central Organisation of Trade Unions and Hon.Ann Waiguru, Chair Council of Governors. Also present were Country Representatives from World Food Programme, Lauren Landis and Shaheen Nilofer, UNICEF . 

The 2023 Social Protection Conference held under the theme 'Accelerating Inclusive and Integrated Social Protection System in Kenya : Strategies for Expansion of coverage  and Improved Shock Responsiveness' is a bi- annual event mooted to take stock and reflect on the sector.

The 2023 conference follows a series of similar events held in 2015 and 2028. The five day conference slated to end on Thursday 6th April will culminate in a Joint Call to Action that will guide the sector for the next few years.

© 2023 National Social Protection Secretariat. Concept by 24i