Kenya risks loosing out on World Bank Funding due to domestic issues

By Charles Njeru

There is great potential in Kenya getting as much foreign aid as possible. There are some sectors in the economy that need foreign assistance. However, most of the country programs that were funded by the institution in the past are currently not accounted for. Kenya has not yet met major components for successful lending, says a World Bank report released in Nairobi recently.

The report titled, The Development Potential of Regional Programs, released by the Independent Evaluation Group, lists tough policies that more than 120 countries have not yet met. “One major issue is related to accountable governance arrangements”, says Catherine Gwin of the World Bank one of the report authors.

The report further shows that for regional programs to work effectively, a country must show strong ownership of any program. “Planning for sustainability of outcomes has been poor in the past, even in Kenya”, says the Banks legal team. They say that the design of most regional programs has always been poor and much remains to be done.

“Regional projects have a strong country voice but partnerships tend to be dominated by donors”, reads the report. It gives a good example of the HIV/AIDS and transport, and Central Asia biodiversity programs.

“They were all well designed to give all participating countries equitable voice and roles even though the sizes of the countries differed markedly. But the smaller countries participating in the Aral Sea water and environmental management program have had little effective voice in its governance and management”, says the report.

The level of representation in governance bodies needs to match the level of issues being addressed if agreements have to be implemented and country obligations met, say the authors.

Continuous funding for the National Malaria, Tuberculosis and AIDS programs still remains a hurdle. “This is because in the past, many issues such as management of funds and repayments have always been a major obstacle”, says an official with the World Bank. The authors say that the funding for communicable diseases such as AIDS has had great potential and importance but a lot still needs to be done.

The report only lists Gender and water programs as one of the successes of Kenya. “On health, Kenya still needs to show cause, we will soon be coming up with tough guidelines on funding”, says an official with the World Bank Group.

The report shows that country-to-country partnerships are not as easy to manage as they may seem, but further shows that there is great potential if all or most of the requirements are met.

Catherine Gwin says that HIV/AIDS funding in African countries will in the future focus on transport. The World Bank is currently focusing on such a project in West Africa. This is along a highway connecting five countries, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria and Benin. Regional programs will tend to address the issue of the spread of HIV along the highways. According to many studies that the World Bank has initiated in the past, AIDS and transport is very much related in many ways.

Harmonizing of laws and procedures have been some of the requirements that Kenya has not yet met. Officials from the institution say that corruption is among the issues that are evaluated. However they say, Kenya still needs to do a lot, especially to improve in the health Sector according to their findings. However, the Bank’s grant mechanisms do not provide it with a coherent way to support regional programs.

The report shows that a major hurdle for regional programs is the initial cost. “Regional programs cost $31,000 per million dollars lent compared with $23,000 for non-regional programs per million lent. “

The Bank has played a key role in building country commitment and donor support for regional programs through lending and non lending activities. However the bank has been less effective in helping countries asses the costs”, explains Gwin in the media briefing.

The bank says that various policies will have to be reviewed by many countries, especially in the health sector. “The health sectors is still remains among the most challenging”, says Gwin.

Currently there are only fifty-one regional projects out of a total of two thousand five hundred-investment operations bank wide, and also there are fifty-eight regional partnerships out of a total of two hundred and twenty.

Kenya has had major domestic issues even in the recent past relating to funds and how they have been managed. NGOs and the government have had difficulty in accounting for funds particularly in the health sector.

No comments:

google pagerank checker by smallseotools.com