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State issues regulations for crisis fund on Covid-19

BUSINESS
By Standard Team | April 1st 2020
Public health officials from Naivasha check temperatures of passengers on the Nairobi-Nakuru highway as part of measures meant to contain the spread of Covid-19. [Antony Gitonga, Standard]

National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani has published regulations to govern collection and spending of Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund as the government rushes to mobilise resources to fight the pandemic.

The publication of the Public Finance Management (Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund) Regulations, 2020, yesterday comes barely a day after President Uhuru Kenyatta directed the Treasury to establish the fund.

Essential supplies

According to the regulations, the fund will be used to purchase essential supplies in the fight to control further spread of the viral disease that has become a global pandemic.

The collections will be used to purchase medical consumables, equipment, medicine, protective gear, quarantine facilities, Covid-19 test kits, food, water, electricity, medical disposal bins and provide logistics.

“The object and purpose of the fund shall be to mobilise resources for emergency response towards containing the spread, effect and impact of Covid-19 pandemic,” states the document.

The CS said the regulations will not undergo public consultations as required by law due to “extra-ordinary” nature of the pandemic.

The regulations will, however, undergo scrutiny by National Assembly before they become into force.

The fund will also support programmes and initiatives towards cushioning and provision of emergency relief to the most vulnerable, especially older and poor persons in urban informal settlements.

The money collected under the fund will further be used to support and stimulate micro-, small- and medium-enterprises that have been hit hard by the pandemic.

Facilities being used for compulsory quarantine would also benefit from the fund as part of the money will be used to restore them.

Part of the fund will also be used to enhance the capacity of the relevant research institutions in handling Covid-19 surveillance.

The Senate has contributed some Sh200 million of its budget towards the proposed Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund.

In his communication to the House yesterday, Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka asked Parliamentary Service Commission to deduct the amount from its budget to help in the fight against the pandemic that has now left at least 59 people confirmed to be having the virus.

In a raft of measures to help observe social distancing, Lusaka issued guidelines where some 39 lawmakers, both elected and nominated, have been told to stay away.

He ordered parliament orderlies to ensure that only the 28 designated senators attend the plenary sitting even as he limited the session to two hours, ending at 4.30 pm to allow senators and staff to observe the 7pm to 5am curfew.

Covid 19 Time Series

 

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