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News about our programmes 30, Sept. 2014

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Social welfare

Kenya: Government Reiterates Commitment to Improving the Welfare of Older Citizens

2004-06-03, Issue 159

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/welfare/22334

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“The contributions that older persons continue to make towards development, sustenance of their nation and the care role they give in the face of the HIV/AIDS pandemic can no longer be ignored,” Ambassador Nancy Kirui, from the Ministry of Gender, Sports, Culture and Social Services said in a speech read on her behalf by Deputy Permanent Secretary Mr M. C. Gitari. Mr Gitari was opening a workshop organised by HelpAge International and HelpAge Kenya to look into older people’s involvement with governments and civil society in the enactment and implementation of effective policies and programmes of demonstrable benefit in their lives.

Press Release



Government Reiterates Commitment to Improving the Welfare of Older Citizens



“The contributions that older persons continue to make towards development, sustenance of their nation and the care role they give in the face of the HIV/AIDS pandemic can no longer be ignored,” Ambassador Nancy Kirui, PS in the Ministry of Gender, Sports, Culture and Social Services said in a speech read on her behalf by Deputy PS Mr M. C. Gitari.



Mr Gitari was opening a workshop organised by HelpAge International and HelpAge Kenya to look into older people’s involvement with governments and civil society in the enactment and implementation of effective policies and programmes of demonstrable benefit in their lives.



Ambassador Kirui told the workshop that the government continues to take measures to guarantee the security and safety of older persons. These include the implementation of various targeted programmes such as the National Social Security Fund, which gives pensions to retirees in the formal sector. The National Hospital Insurance Fund has also recently been revised to accommodate those willing to contribute beyond 65 years. The scheme will therefore benefit even those who have never been engaged in the formal sector. Majority of the older people have not been entitled to these security payments in the past.



The Government has identified the need for a policy on older persons in the country in line with its commitment towards addressing their well-being. This is in line with the International Plan of Action on Ageing agreed at the Second World Assembly on Ageing and the African Union Policy Framework and Plan of Action on Ageing. Kenya is a signatory to both these declarations.



The proposed policy, currently at an advanced stage of formulation seeks to:

v Facilitate enjoyment of quality life before and during old age

v Promote healthy and active ageing reinforced by access to comprehensive health care to older persons

v Recognise and provide assistance to families and communities in support of older persons

v Ensure that older persons have access to and actively participate in education and training initiatives, as well as use the media to create awareness of their potential and contributions in society

v Eliminate discrimination against older persons

v Establish appropriate social security systems in support of older persons

v Strengthen and expand accessible and affordable national and community based social welfare services to older persons

v Recognise that retirement is not the end of active life and therefore promote carefully planned retirement schemes

v Ensure that the special needs of older persons are met in conflict and disaster situations

v Put in place appropriate and effective legislative and institutional frameworks in support of the national policy on older persons and ageing

v Ensure the protection of older people’s rights



Against this background, issues of ageing are co-ordinated by a section within the Department of Social Welfare in the Ministry of Gender, Sports, Culture and Social Services. However, as a strategy to ensure the successful implementation of the policy, a fully fledged division of older persons and ageing would be set up in the Ministry. A national advisory council on older persons will also be put in place.



Ambassador Kirui pointed out that the policy on older persons would be integrated into the national development agenda to ensure its successful implementation. The government will also undertake awareness creation and policy advocacy and provide for monitoring and evaluation of the implementation process. Periodic reviews would be undertaken to keep the policy in line with developments.



Ambassador Kirui concluded by saying that the Government shall provide the necessary enabling environment for the effective implementation of the proposed cross-cutting policy on ageing and older persons.



The workshop running at the Silversprings Hotel for the whole week, has brought together participants from Bangladesh, Bolivia, Tanzania, St. Lucia, Jamaica, Ethiopia and the UK.



-------------------------

HelpAge International is a global network of not-for-profit organisations working to improve the quality of the lives of disadvantaged older people worldwide.



-ENDS-­



For more information, please contact:

HelpAge International

Africa Regional Development Centre PO box 14888, 00800 Nairobi, Kenya

Tel: 4446991, 4449407, 4444289; Fax: 4441052; Email: helpage@helpage.co.ke

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