Donors suspend key funding – 31 Jan 08

Donors suspend key funding

Donors have suspended funding worth millions of dollars to one of the most important government programmes. The affected programme is the Governance, Justice, Law and Order Sector Reform Programme. State agencies benefiting from the programme dating back to 2005 will lose funds to the tune of Sh2.9 billion. The decision follows the post-election crisis sparked by the disputed vote tallying of the December 27 General Election, in which the Electoral Commission is perceived to have favoured Mr Mwai Kibaki for President against Mr Raila Odinga.
Major donors had earlier warned Kenya that they would not be conducting “business as usual” if the crisis persisted.

A letter to ministries, departments and agencies, said the Governance, Justice, Law and Order Sector Reform Programme Basket Fund Development Partners had reached a joint decision to stop any new commitments until further notice. The programme’s chief technical coordinator Jacques Cartens, said the decision was short term, and would be reviewed regularly.

The decision affects Medium Term Strategy Three funding, which was supposed to begin this financial year.

Police, Kenya National Commission on Human Rights the National Registration Bureau and National Youth Service are affected by the move. Others are the Anti-Corruption Commission, the Law Reform Commission, the Anti-Corruption Campaign Steering Committee, the AG’s Office, and Prisons Service.

Police and prisons workshops, equipment purchase, and law reform human rights campaigns in the media are specifically affected.

The commission stands to suffer the most, as 90 per cent of its programmes are funded by the governance reform programme, with the Government only paying staff salaries and office rent.

On Wednesday, Mr Cartens referred the Nation to the Swedish embassy, saying, it was “the major donor of the programme.”

Swedish ambassador Anna Brandt confirmed the aid suspension pending the outcome of mediation brokered by former UN chief Mr Kofi Annan.

“We are not going to enter into new contracts with the Government following the current political crisis,” she said, and expressed disappointment that violence currently being witnessed in Kenya had taken ethnic dimensions and must be stopped.

Ms Brandt welcomed the decision by Mr Kibaki and Mr Odinga to work together for a lasting solution to the problem.

The aid freeze letter to the ministries said: “In cases where your department/agency has submitted a basket funded procurement request to the governance reform programme the approval of these requests will be put on hold until further notice.

Procurement requests

“In cases where procurement requests from your department/agency have already been approved by the governance reform programme, the Financial Management Agent will not be in a position to make a financial commitment in support of the specific activity.

“You are therefore advised not to proceed with these procurements until further notice.”

The information on the aid freeze has already been relayed to all the affected government departments and agencies.
Daily Nation

Pambazuka News 

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