Development Assistance

Last Updated: 21 February 2020

Kenya has historically been a notable recipient of international donor support from multilateral and bilateral sources. However, the country has consistently reduced its reliance on aid, from a high of 16% of GNI in 1993 to 3% in 2016, primarily by increasing borrowing on international markets and through domestic resource mobilisation. Development assistance represents approximately 10% of the state budget. It is worth noting that no country provides direct budget support to Kenya following several mismanagement scandals.

It is worth noting that donors may work directly with counties if support is in the form of a grant, though the National Treasury must also be notified. For support with a loan element, donors must engage with the National Treasury and the loan must be signed by the Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury.

In the agriculture sector, the World Bank, FAO and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) are the main development partners. The health sector is dominated by World Bank, WHO, Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and Gavi, while the World Bank, Global Partnership for Education and UNICEF all play key roles in the education sector. In terms of financial inclusion, Financial Sector Deepening Kenya, a Kenyan NGO, has played a crucial role in research and policy analysis and in financing organisations that advance financial inclusion.

The United Nations, through its Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), which covers the 2018-22 period, and will be funded by 21 UN agencies, alongside the World Bank and IMF, is also a key partner. The framework, budgeted at $1.9 billion, is designed to support the implementation of the Third Medium-Term Plan and the Big Four Agenda. It focuses on governance, improvements in access to and quality of education, health, water and sanitation and social protection, as well as sustainable and inclusive economic growth. The UNDAF places significant emphasis on delivering results for Kenya’s most marginalised and vulnerable populations, which may not be reached by other development partners.

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