Economic burden of COVID-19 continues as Kenya enters the twelfth month into the pandemic

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July 1, 2022 - Author: John Olwande, Timothy Njagi, Miltone Ayieko, Mywish K. Maredia, and David Tschirley

The Kenya government has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with a range of containment measures since the first confirmed case of infection in the country on 12th March 2020. The measures have included restrictions in the movement and physical interactions of people, which have affected people’s participation in social and economic activities; health specific measures, including equipping healthcare facilities, COVID-19 awareness campaigns and, lately, phased vaccination of people; and social protection interventions to mitigate the effect of containment measures on economic welfare of people. Nevertheless, because of the huge burden of the pandemic and limited fiscal capacity of the country, the social protection responses were unable to cushion most people from the economic blow due to the pandemic.

This research aimed to monitor and analyze the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated containment measures on rural and urban livelihoods in Kenya, to help guide resource allocation and inform policy actions for future crises. Data were collected through two rounds of (cross-sectional) cellphone surveys of a nationally representative sample of 800 households stratified equally between rural and urban areas. The first survey round was conducted between 18th September and 26th October 2020 and results were reported in Olwande et al. (2021). In this Brief we report results of the second round of survey conducted between 3rd and 31st March 2021.

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