United Kingdom is set to withdraw its 10-year aid package to drought-prone communities in Kenya as a part of a new economic partnership with the country.
According to the Guardian reports, the Sh 20.5 Billion (€143m) programme, which annually helps 600,000 vulnerable civilians, is the first UK aid project of its kind which will be wholly taken over by a government in Africa.
With her interview with a British newspaper, Secretary of State Penny Mordaunt stated that Kenya is a “profound success story” that had “stepped up and taken responsibility” by investing in its own people.
Speaking in Nairobi during her first visit to the continent, she noted: "Kenya is an example of a country which I think is doing the right thing."
“There will be other nations who have said: why would they invest in vaccinations and start building up particular services because the international community is going to do it for them? That doesn’t help them transition out of extreme poverty or start building the public systems that they need to look after their people," she added.
The money was being given to the people in emergencies via direct cash transfers.
On her visit, Mordaunt travelled to Marsabit, one of the counties devastated by East Africa’s drought, to see how the cash transfer system was saving lives.
Mordaunt spoke to women from the drought-hit communities who told her of how Sh 5,738 (€40) every 2-months for those qualifying has helped in feeding and educating their children and even set up businesses.
The scheme is also being used to help 71,000 severely malnourished children.
The Secretary of State acknowledged that the cash transfers were better at supporting the needy than the traditional humanitarian aid, “which is not as effective in reaching people it needs to and doesn’t yield anything other than alleviating that crisis."
She highlighted that despite their withdrawal of the funding, UK has provided another Sh 2.8 Billion for 2018.
“Using our heads in deciding how to spend that money doesn’t also preclude using our hearts,” she expressed.