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European Union opposes call to terminate donor aid to Kenya

BUSINESS
By Lee Mwiti | Nov 27th 2016 | 2 min read
By Lee Mwiti | November 27th 2016
BUSINESS

The European Union (EU) and Denmark have poured cold water on the push by some donor countries to cease advancing aid to Kenya.

Erik Habers, the head of development cooperation for the European Union Delegation to Kenya has said that despite Kenya’s status having being elevated to a middle income economy, the EU has no immediate plans to end assistance to the country.

Mr Habers also averred that the support will continue adding that the EU will soon announce a substantial funding pledge to water and development projects.

He was speaking on the sidelines of the just concluded Kenya Water Week in Nairobi.

“The European Union and its member states will continue to support Kenya and the water sector to ensure the right to water and reasonable standards for sanitation for every Kenyan in line with the Constitution and Vision 2030,” Habers said.

Speaking at the same forum, Noeke Ruiter, the First Secretary of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, affirmed that her country would cease all aid to Kenya by 2020, but added that Netherlands would work with the government to implement sustainable models to replace aid.

Ruiter, however, argued that Kenya is now a middle income economy and more emphasis should be put in trading with it rather than advancing aid to it.

“Currently, it is premature to stop donor support, especially in water and sanitation sectors with more than 40 per cent of Kenyan’s lacking access to clean and adequate water,” Habers said.

Habers also said that it would be wrong for donor countries to immediately stop aid to Kenya, when communities in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) still need to be cushioned from lack of adequate water supplies.

Presently, more than 80 per cent of funds directed to the Water Services Trust Fund, the Government agency that funds water and sanitation projects, come from development partners like the EU.

On his part, Lars Bredal, Deputy Head of Mission of the Danish Embassy, while acknowledging that aid to Kenya would eventually cease, called for a more phased approach in its termination so as to ensure programmes remained on course towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals.

While giving his views on the same aid subject, Principal Secretary for Water and Irrigation Fred Sigor said the Government was aware of diminishing aid flow for development and was putting in place mechanisms to ensure sustainable funding to affected sectors to bridge the limited inflows.

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