Jul 24, 2011

Using M-PESA To Fight Extreme Hunger in Kenya

The government of Kenya is deploying mobile money to fight extreme hunger and extreme poverty in Kenya. This social protection initiative aims to cushion the extremely poor Kenyans from the high cost of living.

About 5,000 families in Korogocho, Mukuru and 2,500 families in Mathare are the beneficiaries of the pilot program in over a period of 8 months. Each family received kes 1500 through mobile money transfer service, M-PESA per month for purchasing food.
A memorandum on the implementation of a comprehensive targeted food subsidy is already before Cabinet to support the food insecurity in urban areas. 

Once this proposal is given a go ahead by Cabinet, the government will expand the pilot programs to provide kes 2025 per month to 100, 000 people in 6 informal settlements in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.  
The joint government, Oxfam and World Food Program pilot program on urban food subsidy based on cash transfers is a very innovative way of fighting extreme hunger and poverty and it shows the government's commitment in achieving the Millenium Development Goals.

M-PESA currently has 14 million customers and over 25,000 agents countrywide.