Remarks by the Cabinet Secretary for Labour and Social Protection During the Official Launch of the 3rd Social Protection Conference 2023

Remarks By the Cabinet Secretary for Labour and Social Protection During the Official Launch of the 3rd Social Protection Conference 2023 On 4th April, 2023 at the Kenya School of Government 

  • Your Excellency, Dr. William Samoei Rutto, The President of the Republic of Kenya and the Commander in Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces, CGH
  • Your Excellency, Hon. Rigathi Gachagua, The Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya
  • Cabinet Secretaries Colleagues present
  • Principal Secretary’s Present
  • Chairs of Committees of Parliament Present
  • The British High Commissioner, Ms. Jane Marriot
  • UN Resident Coordinator, Dr. Steve Jackson
  • Country Representatives of World Bank, UNICEF, WFP, FAO, UNHCR
  • Conference Delegates
  • Ladies and Gentlemen

I welcome you all to this 3rd Social Protection Conference that the Government of Kenya is hosting. This is a bi-annual event that bring together the social protection fraternity from within the country and across the globe. The purpose is to promote shared experiences and learning for improved social protection programming and increasing investments in the sector.

The objective of this year’s Conference is to promote the scale up of integrated and adaptive social protection system aimed at addressing multiple vulnerabilities across human life-cycle risks. The theme is “accelerating inclusive and integrated social protection system in Kenya: Strategies for expansion of coverage and improved shock-responsiveness.”

You recall your Excellency that in 2018, you also officially launched the social protection week whose theme was "Scaling Up Investment in Social Protection for the Delivery of Kenya’s Vision 2030 and Achievement of Sustainable Development Goals”. Over the period, the social protection sector has seen increased investments including innovative interventions for vulnerable populations affected during the COVID 19 pandemic period.

Your Excellency, the social sector has a population of over 20 million comprising of children, older persons and persons with disabilities who require social protection services yet the funding for the sector is currently at 0.7% of our GDP. We appreciate you Your Excellency for making social protection a priority in your transformative agenda. We continue to appeal for your support to ensure enhanced coverage to the unreached sizeable number of poor and vulnerable populations in the country.  My Ministry will continue to enhance social protection delivery systems to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in the provision of services.

This Conference will culminate into a Call for Action which will guide prioritization of interventions for the sector over the next bi-annual period. I therefore call upon all the respective actors in this forum to build ownership and prioritise interventions that can help us realize progress towards a more sustainable, inclusive and shock responsive social protection within the period.

We are privileged as a Sector to have proactive partnerships that have lasted for over a decade. The partners present here today have supported us in various fronts including social protection policy and legislative agenda, technical assistance to the improvement and strengthening of social protection systems, financing joint programmes and also implementing targeted programmes to the populations that are yet to be covered through government support. The review of the Kenya Social Protection Policy, 2011 and the Social Assistance Fund Bill which are at the final stages of completion have been made possible through our Partner’s technical and financial support.

I wish to appreciate the immense support of the World Food Programme, the FAO, UNICEF, Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO), UNHCR, World Bank, State and Non-state actors for committing their time, technical and financial resources in seeing through the preparation of this event to fruition.

Thank you very much.

© 2023 National Social Protection Secretariat. Concept by 24i