On the 21st November, 2019 UNICEF Kenya representative Ms. Maniza Zaman and the Principal Secretary of the State Department of Social Protection Mr. Nelson Marwa Sospeter signed the Technical Assistance Agreement on Nutrition Improvement through Cash transfers and Health Education (NICHE) between the Government of Kenya and UNICEF.
NICHE was designed to measurably improve the nutritional status of children in the first 1,000 days of life. This entails 270 days in utero and the first two years of life outside the womb. NICHE provides intense nutritional counseling and additional cash to households that are already recipients of the Government of Kenya (GoK) Cash Transfer for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (CT-OVC) programme and have a pregnant woman or a child under the age of two.
The Nutritional Improvements through Cash and Health Education (NICHE) programme is a United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)-led initiative funded under European Union (EU) Supporting Horn of Africa Resilience (SHARE), implemented in partnership with the county government of Kitui and the Government of Kenya (GoK). It was later expanded to include neighbouring Machakos county, initially to three sub-counties bordering Kitui during the first baseline survey —Yatta, Masinga and Mwala—and then to the rest of the county in a second baseline survey. These counties are part of Kenya’s arid and semi-arid lands and are located approximately 160 km southeast of Nairobi.