Kenya: Awori Warns of Increasing Number of Street Children
East African Standard (Nairobi)
7 September 2007
Posted to the web 6 September 2007
The number of street children could hit 2.5 million by 2010, unless there is urgent intervention, Vice-President, Mr Moody Awori, warns.
The VP spoke as he launched a Sh119.2 million partnership between Barclays Bank and Unicef to assist more than 4,000 street children in the next three years.
"Of the estimated 32.8 million people living in Kenya, 16.9 million are under 18 years. 1.8 million of these are orphans half of Kenya’s population lives below the poverty line, meaning an estimated 8.6 million children are in need of support," he said.
Barclays Bank would give Sh107million and Unicef will contribute Sh12.2 million to the partnership dubbed, ‘Banking on Brighter Futures’.
Calling on Kenyans to contribute towards the welfare of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC), Awori said the Government was formulating a national policy for children.
The police will provide legal and financial framework "to comprehensively address the problem.
"Giving children a chance to reach their full potential will help them to contribute to the growth of our economy and save the country and society high costs of dealing with the destitute."
He said there will be drop-in centres in Mombasa, Nairobi, Kisumu and Eldoret.
In conjunction with the Government, Awori said, Unicef had also initiated a ‘Cash Transfer Programme’ for OVC in 2004 to solicit for funds from well wishers.
The VP said "the solution is not only to remove these children from the streets, but also preventing them from going to the streets."
Barclays’ Chief Executive, Global Retail and Commercial Banking, Mr Frits Seegers, said there would be three centres in key urban locations to benefit the children.