The Hunger Safety Net Programme

Documentary, Kenya, 5 minutes, 2016

In Turkana, in north-west Kenya, over 94% of the population live below the poverty line. People there are all too familiar with severe droughts, which wipe out livestock and dry up scarce water supplies.

The Hunger Safety Net Programme (HSNP) is a scheme that gives cash to poor and vulnerable families to help them cope with such unforgiving conditions.

HSNP makes both regular and emergency payments to help ensure people have enough food without needing to make difficult compromises, such as taking their children out of school or borrowing money. HSNP transfers cash through Equity Bank, which has opened up accounts and given people smart cards, so they can take out money using machines kept by local shopkeepers.

Regular payments help beneficiaries become more resilient and better able to cope with severe environmental shocks like drought or floods. In 2015, nearly 100,000 families received emergency payments in record time, as little as two weeks after alerts that a drought was on its way.

By having a cash transfer system that responds quickly to deepening crises, families receive help when life is at its hardest.

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