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President Kenyatta unveils Sh53.7bn to revive econony after COVID-19 effects

NAIROBI, Kenya May 23 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has unveiled a massive stimulus programme to jump-start the country’s economy by pumping Sh53.7 billion into various sectors.

He said the move is aimed at mitigating the effects of COVID-19 which has slowed the economy since March, rendering thousands jobless after many business were closed down.

The program focuses on key sectors among them infrastructure, education, health, agriculture and tourism.

Other sectors that will benefit from the 8-point stimulus programme include the SMEs sub-sector, environment and manufacturing.

“To combat the effects of this downturn, my administration has had to take additional measures. Today I am happy to announce the rolling out of my 8-point stimulus programme amounting to some Sh53.7 billion. The injection of this money into the economy will stimulate growth and cushion families and companies as together we navigate our way out of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Kenyatta said.

In an address to the nation from State House on Saturday, the president said he is keen to see the revival of the tourism industry and has set aside Sh2 billion to support renovation of facilities and the restructuring of business operations in the tourism industry.

Hotels in tourism destinations across the country remain closed since March when the country confirmed its first case of coronavirus.

COVID-19 cases had reached 1,192 Saturday, with the confirmation of 31 new infections.

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During the presidential address, Kenyatta also revealed that the government is spending Sh250 million every week to support the vulnerable groups in the country who have been worst hit by the impact of coronavirus.

The Head of State said the government opted to use the cash transfer program as opposed to the traditional form of relief of providing physical foodstuffs.

A further Sh1 billion has also been set aside for flood control measures after devastating effects caused by heavy rains across the country.

“And to mitigate the impact of deforestation and climate change, and to enhance the provision of water facilities, my administration will rehabilitate wells, water pans and underground tanks in the Arid and Semi-Arid areas,” he said, setting aside Sh 850 million.

The government also intends to engage 5,500 community scouts under the Kenya Wildlife Service at a cost of Sh1 billion.

Additionally, he said, support will be made available to approximately 160 community conservancies at a cost of Sh1 billion.

There is also Sh3 billion set aside for the supply of farm inputs through e-vouchers, targeting 200,000 small scale farmers, with a further, Sh 1.5 billion allocated to the flower and horticultural producers to access international markets.

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