The Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Service Delivery is mandated to manage the county economy and resources therein through better planning and placement of resources in the best possible uses and ensuring prudent utilization of the county’s resources. However, these objectives have been undermined largely by the emergence of covid-19.
With lockdowns and containment measures against covid-19 being implemented in Kenya and the world over, the County economy is suffering and is expected to contract by at least 3% by June 2020. If Covid-19 challenges persist however, exchequer releases to the county will suffer a beating.
The slump in global demand and the resultant decline in economic activity will lead to greater job losses that will also have social reverberations in Homa Bay County.
The presence of covid-19 means a lot of resources shall be channeled towards fighting it even as government revenues decline. This will diminish the fiscal space for other strategic investments as the limited funds will be channeled largely to enhance health sector capacity as well as improve social and economic responses. The focus will remain on limiting the virus outbreak and managing the potential health crisis.
The immediate measure has been to contain the spread of the pandemic and to treat the infected while providing financial relief to the cash-strapped households and firms with a view to keeping them afloat until the pandemic begins to ebb. The medium term measure will be however to temper health interventions with economic activity.
At the health and social protection policy level, the government will be more focused on testing and treatment, hiring of new medical staff, expanding social assistance and implementing cash transfers to households. At the fiscal policy level, the government will strive to reduce the burden to employees and businesses, declared a moratorium on repayment of some loans, reprioritized spending and financing of the budget deficits.