A charity organisation is planning to give low-income people in selected Kenyan rural villages free money with no strings attached to supplement their earnings and improve their living conditions.
According to the Business Insider website, Mr Omidyar will donate the money through the charity GiveDirectly, which is part of the Omidyar Network, as an experiment to see if giving people free money can help alleviate poverty, improve the economic standing of poor people and generally help them lead a better life.
Pierre Omidyar, co-founder of giant online shopping website eBay, is set to donate a daily income to some 26,000 poor people living in 200 rural villages in Kenya for a period of 12 years.
The programme has already kicked off in one village.
It intends to give selected people Sh75 a day for a period of 12 years.
UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME
But the payments will not be uniform. Some 40 villages will receive money for a long-term period of 12 years, 80 will receive it for two years while a third group of 80 villages will receive a lump-sum payoff.
The GiveDirectly programme is based on the idea of a universal basic income and seeks to ensure a regular, long-term, reasonable amount that is available to everyone.
“Even though we know that cash transfers in developing countries help reduce poverty and improve outcomes for families, these have not been tested on a long-term basis or with a universal beneficiary pool,” Mr Omidyar’s handlers wrote on Medium in a post explaining the importance of the programme.
“Cash transfer programs can potentially help to address bigger issues facing our society, such as rising income volatility, lack of secure benefits, social instability, and the changing nature of work,” they added.