Kenya in controversial loan plan

By Gatonye Gathura

The country is involved in a controversial loan to fund among other things an expanded condom distribution, maternal and child health programme.

The five-year investment plan indicates the country will require Sh 223 billion between last year and 2020. This will also facilitate sex education in schools, safe aborting services and cash handouts to keep girls in school for as long as possible.

Kenya’s is part of a Global Strategy on Women’s, Children’s and Adolescent Health launched in the country last year and to be funded through the World Bank ‘s Global Financing Facility (GFF).

Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, and Tanzania are piloting the project. However some charitable and donors countries have questioned the GFF’s resource mobilization strategy.

According to the plan each participating country is supposed to raise one dollar to qualify for four dollars as loan from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA).

A recent report in the scientific journal The Lancet indicates Sweden, a significant donor to maternal and child health has opposed the plan on the ground that such loans would only burden already poor countries.

Consequently Sweden has declined to provide funds towards the plan.
The Lancet report also mentions Simon Wright, head of child survival at Save the Children expressing their concerns over the Bank’s arrangement.

“We remain concerned that the plan should not lead poor countries into more indebtedness,” he says.

Rocket Science

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