The Star (Nairobi)

21 July 2014

Kenya: UK's DFID Says Invested Sh20 Billion in Kenya in Year to June

The UK Department for International Development has invested Sh20.4 billion into Kenya in the last year helping 97,000 children access primary education, according to the DfID annual report published Friday.

The British government funds have been channelled towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals that include poverty reduction and reducing infant and maternal mortality rates.

The report, which covers 2013-14, details that DfID has enabled 22.8 per cent of Kenyans to access financial services, which it names as a key driver of development.

Almost 50 per cent of the funds have been invested in "wealth creation" and reduction of "poverty, hunger and vulnerability" at 25.9 per cent and 23.4 per cent of the total respectively.

Kenya remains one of DfID's key targets for investment, receiving the tenth largest sum of any country. However, Kenya's progress on the MDG poverty reduction goal, that is the proportion of people living below $1.25 (Sh109.71) per day, "is lagging".

The poorest Kenyans live in climate-vulnerable arid and semi-arid areas, where weather shocks and stresses are most heavily felt.

One destination of British investment has been the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund, a $205 million fund hosted by the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa. AECF invests in companies developing green technologies and adaptation to climate change.

"The funding DfID gives the AECF impacts positively because it is invested in the private sector, which is very different to funding NGOs and charities," said Rose Ndung'u, AECF operations manager.

"They are funding businesses that are already succeeding".

The report claims that 120,000 people were supported to cope with the effects of climate change, while another 130,000 have been assisted to gain access to clean energy, 5.3 per cent more than the previous year.

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