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COVID-19: Inter-religious Council launches Sh300mn fundraiser to cushion vulnerable Kenyans

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 11- The Inter-Religious Council of Kenya (IRCK) has launched a Sh300 million campaign that seeks to raise funds to cushion vulnerable Kenyans from the effects of COVID-19.

By Saturday, the virus had killed seven people and infected 191 while 24 had recovered.

The initiative dubbed ‘JALI’ which will involve Religious organizations, Civil Society, Private sector and individuals seeks to mitigate the economic challenges occasioned by disruption of livelihoods due to the pandemic.

In a statement, the council’s Chairman Joseph Mutie stressed the importance of addressing the plight of the less privileged during the global crisis.

“Given how crucial the next three months will be as the nation works to flatten the COVID-19 curve, we could experience further limitations on the movement that could greatly impact on the less privileged in society. That is why we are launching this initiative now and are appealing to Kenyans of goodwill to come out in full support in a bid to help our brothers and sisters in need,” Mutie said.   

Globally, more than 100,000 people have died and over 1.3 million infected. The US recorded the highest number of deaths at 20,000.

The church council’s Executive Director Francis Kuria stated that emphasis will be on people with disabilities, those with terminal illnesses, the homeless, children and youth.

“This campaign will be looking at strengthening the resilience of vulnerable people by providing food directly or by way of cash transfers to identified and verified vulnerable populations in informal settlements, urban and peri-urban areas with emphasis on people with disabilities, people with terminal illnesses, the homeless, children and youth, and families of lower cadre medical workers,” he said.

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According to the council, there is a deliberate effort to pursue new forms of engagement and connection beyond the physical spaces of worship while adhering to the government’s directive on social gatherings.

The council further committed to offer faith-based institutions and facilities that government experts and teams handling coronavirus may require in order to succeed in the fight against the pandemic.

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