American government withdraws financial aid to Kenya

Afya House which houses the Ministry of Health offices PHOTO COURTESY

Nairobi,KENYA:The United States U.S. Embassy in Kenya has with immediate effect suspended sh. 2.1 billion funding to the Ministry of Health citing corruption allegations.

Through its Kenyan embassy, the American government on Tuesday through a statement said the action was taken so as to protect the US taxpayers money.

“We took this step because of ongoing concern about reports of corruption and weak accounting procedures at the Ministry.  The action is intended to ensure that health care spending reaches those in need, and to protect U.S. taxpayer money.  We are working with the Ministry on ways to improve accounting and internal controls and hope to restore the funding when appropriate progress is made,”  read part of the statement.

The Embassy assured that the financial assistance withdrawn represents only a small portion of the overall U.S. health investment in Kenya, which exceeds sh. 65 billion annually.

“Our support for life-saving and essential health services, such as providing anti-retroviral therapy for a million Kenyans, is not affected by the suspension.  We will continue to provide funding for health
services and medications going directly to Kenyans,” the statement continued.

Meanwhile, NGO Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung DSW called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to move with speed to resolve all issues raised by The United States Ambassador Robert Godec in a bid to salvage Kenya’s ailing health sector.

“The suspension of aid, if it goes on for an extended period, will likely slow down the implementation of policy and will also directly delay efficient and effective service delivery,” said Evelyn Samba Kenya Country Director, DSW.

The Ministry of Health has experienced a tumultuous dark wave in the recent past having been dogged by allegations of corruption where it is involved in a sh. 5bn scandal.

This also comes at a time when doctors resumed work in March after a 100 days strike.