The government of Kenya and the United Nations on Wednesday signed a development assistance framework that will see the UN mobilizing USD 1.2 billion for implementation of development programmes in the country over a four-year period.
The United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2014 - 2018 will complement the government’s development efforts in transformational governance through policy reforms and institutional capacity building at the national level and county levels. It will also focus on human capital development programmes in the education, water, sanitation, nutrition, hygiene, HIV/AIDs and social protection among other areas of national priority.
Speaking after witnessing the historic signing and launching of the multi-billion shillings development assistance framework at State House, Nairobi, President Uhuru Kenyatta appreciated the continued support to the country’s economic development agenda in line with the Vision 2030 strategy.
“Indeed, our cooperation with you has grown over the years and has contributed greatly to the improvement in the living standards of our people,” he said.
He challenged those charged with implementation of the development programmes to deliver within the set time frame.
“I wish to make it clear that our people’s expectations are very high and as such we cannot afford any lagged behavior,” the President said.
He added: “We shall hold you, the implementing Agencies, accountable for the delivery of service funded under this programme.”
The President commended the U.N Agencies for adopting the “Delivery as One” approach which is intended to ensure that the support by U.N. agencies is aligned to Kenya’s aspirations and development priorities.
The UN team that met with President Kenyatta included UN Resident Coordinator, Ms.Nardos Bekele-Thomas, UN-Habitat Executive Director Dr. Joan Clos his UNEP counterpart Mr.Achim Steiner and Mr.Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information.
Ms.Bekele-Thomas said the launch of UNDAF by the President at State House was historic in the development cooperation between the UN and the Government of Kenya.
“We are profoundly honoured Your Excellency, for this testimony of commitment to the ideals and values of the United Nations,’ Ms. Bekele -Thomas said.
She said the occasion was also unprecedented because for the first time four UN Under-Secretary Generals witnessed the signing of the UNDAF, adding that the World Bank and the IMF were, for the first time in Kenya, as signatories to the UNDAF.
Saying the current UNDAF is a direct by-product of Kenya’s long-term development aspirations, the UN Resident Coordinator disclosed that the formulation of the instrument was a result of extensive and rigorous consultations with Government authorities at national and county levels, the Judiciary, Parliament, Commissions, the private sector, civil society and development partners.
“It is truly an instrument for use as a common framework for collaborative and concerted development assistance designed to make a difference in the lives of Kenyans, especially the marginalized and the poor, by fostering inclusive and sustainable long-term development,” the UN Resident Coordinator said.During the last programming cycle (2009-2013), the total programme delivery of United Nations Funds and Programmes in Kenya was close to $ 3 billion (Kshs. 258 billion). 70% of that amount went to humanitarian activities, in response to emergencies and crises while only 30% (Kshs. 86 billion) went to medium and long-term development programmes.