The impact of COVID-19 on poverty in Kenya has especially affected families, youth and unemployed men and women. Limited Jobs and Lower Wages = Reduced Food Supply. Whenever there is shortage of jobs due to economic collapse, surviving companies tend to lower wages so that they can be able to coup up with the economy. Food security is a major concern for many families that has seen poverty affecting most of them. Some are unable to afford expensive foods like vegetables and others can only afford to consume one or two meals per day. Reduced food supplies due to drought and high costs of farm inputs while there is a massive job loss is really hurting the common mwananchi. Most families reported that food shortage is the biggest challenge in the household. With the loss of jobs and income, people in Kenya can barely afford basic necessities such as food, water and healthcare assistance. The cost of basic commodities such as cooking oil, gas, vegetables, rice, wheat flour and other essentials is at its highest compared to a decade ago. Many families are forced to survive in this hardship economy where money is lost mostly through corruption and the government failure to implement good policies to cushion its Citizen.
Time for Reform
Achieving steady economic growth is an enormous way of reducing Kenyan poverty rates hence reducing food insecirity. Thanks to innovations in financial technology and telecommunications, Kenya experienced average annual growth rates of about 5.3% between 2006 and 2016. This prolonged period of robust growth greatly reduced the number of impoverished citizens. In fact, more than 4.5 million people escaped poverty during this decade. This number has reduced again due to COVID-19 in the last two years.
Technical progress is important for growth and leads to higher factor rewards through economic growth that is the most powerful instrument for reducing poverty and improving the quality of life of citizens for any developing country like Kenya. Many research and country case studies provide overwhelming evidence that rapid and sustained growth is critical to making faster progress towards the achievement of vision 2030 and also reducing the proportion of people living on less than Ksh. 100 a day. Growth can generate virtuous circles of prosperity and opportunity. Strong growth and employment opportunities improve incentives which May lead to the emergence of a strong and growing group of entrepreneurs, who in turn generate pressure for improved governance. It therefore advances human development, which, sequentially, promotes economic growth where citizens have income to sustain them and build a nation.
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