In mid-July we interviewed a subset of FSD Kenya/CARE’s Building Livelihoods programme beneficiaries in Northern Kenya to understand the extent to which resources built up through the programme are supporting resilience of beneficiary households during COVID-19, and how these compare and interact with traditional pastoralist coping mechanisms.
Over the past four years, FSD Kenya’s Building Livelihoods programme in Northern Kenya has explored how extremely poor households can be transitioned out of poverty and into sustainable livelihoods through stronger engagements with markets.
When we spoke with Benson in April, he was feeling optimistic about getting through the COVID-19 crisis unscathed. He worked in a factory that manufactured paper products, and toilet tissue was in high demand. He was sure he would keep his job. In June, like many of our respondents, his outlook was gloomier.
After three months of Covid-19 restrictions, Jennifer’s economic options have run out. She is five months pregnant, and the baby’s father has blocked her calls. She hasn’t been able to pay rent in three months and worries that she and her children are on the verge of eviction.
Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, FSD Kenya and BFA Global have been working to understand the human impacts—social, financial, and economic—by conducting qualitative phone interviews with previous respondents from the Kenya Financial Diaries.