Uhuru allocates Sh10bn for 200,000 youths amid coronavirus pandemic economic hit

President Uhuru Kenyatta during the Seventh Presidential address on the coronavirus pandemic/ PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday announced Sh10 billion will be used to cushion youths as the country battles economic impacts of coronavirus.

The President said the amount will be pumped into an initiative that will engage about 200,000 youths in the country.

Noting that the country has about 70 per cent youths, Uhuru  directed the release of the funds for the National Hygiene Programme called Kazi Mtaani Initiative.

“Under this programme, we will spend a total of Sh10 billion engaging our youth in restoring public hygiene standards, urban civil works and other public undertakings,” the head of state said.

At the moment, 26, 000 youths are engaged in the initiative but the government plans to increase the number to 200,000 youths across the country.

Uhuru said the government will also turn the initiative into income-generating opportunities even after the coronavirus crisis ends. This is one of the ways the government is planning to cushion Kenyans from adverse economic effects of the pandemic.

“And to make it sustainable after the Covid-19 crisis, we will regiment them into livelihood guilds. These are small groups of young people with a purpose and a passion for Kenya,” President Kenyatta added.

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“Our nation is made up of 70% young people. Although this gives me hope because a young population is better equipped to fight the coronavirus, it is also worrying. It is worrying because during a pandemic like the one we have, the sheer energy of our young population will fight the virus alright. But in the process, their energy could be misdirected,” Uhuru said.

The government set aside Sh100 million for artists as soon as the first coronavirus case was announced in the country.

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