Government sets aside Sh3 billion in readiness for Coronavirus outbreak

The budget statement will become operational starting July 2020

Parliament’s Budget and Appropriations Committee Chairman Kimani Ichung'wah
Parliament’s Budget and Appropriations Committee Chairman Kimani Ichung'wah [Photo/ People Daily]

In Brief

– The allocation has been incorporated by the Parliamentary Budget Committee.

– Kenya is highly prone due to its direct aviation links to marked hotspots.

Parliament’s Budget and Appropriations Committee (BAC) has allocated Sh3 billion to the government’s scheme to stage a counter-response in the event that the highly contagious and deadly Coronavirus makes its way into the country. The allocation adjustments were made in the 2020/2021 national budget that is currently being doctored.

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This move provides the clearest indication yet that the earliest Kenya expects the viral epidemic to extend into the country is during the second half of the year. The statement announcing the fund allocation did not, however, divulge details on the exact areas that the money will be channeled to.

Kenya is a prime territory of interest in the outbreak considering it continues to sustain direct aviation links with some of the marked COVID-19 hotspots.

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Additional details in the Budget Policy Statement for the said financial year point that funds for running government organs have been adversely slashed with the Executive being capped at a ceiling of Sh1.79 trillion, Parliament at Sh39.14 billion, and the Judiciary at Sh19.05 billion.

The BAC chairperson Kimani Ichung’wah has pleaded with his colleagues to adopt the prepared budget statement.

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“The committee requests that this House adopts this report and further resolves that the financing gap of Sh7 billion be funded through reprioritization and realignment of the Executive’s approved ceilings,” stated Ichung’wah.