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Cash transfers in Nairobi’s slums: video

In some of Kenya’s poorest slums, Concern is providing emergency assistance by distributing cash using mobile phones. So far, this has proven to be extremely successful.


Concern has been distributing cash to 7,000 people in the Korogocho and Kibera slums. Each will receive the equivalent of 15 euro a month for eight months. The money can then be spent on food, education and hospital fees.

Why distribute cash?

In the past, it has been normal for aid agencies to distribute food to people in urgent need of help. Anne O’Mahony, Concern’s country director in Kenya, gives the reasons for distributing cash instead of food.

The market stalls in Kenya’s slums, Anne explains, are run by the poor people themselves. As a result, distributing cash has a double impact:

First of all, you can target the poor people with the cash. You’re also enabling the market sellers to earn and generate an income.

If we were to bring in food we would undermine the markets and probably create more poverty as a result.