UNDAF Launch at State House Nairobi

UNCT and KE=enya

Development Partners and members of the UN Country Team pose for a photo with His Excellency, President Uhuru Kenyatta at the launch of the UNDAF (Photo: Courtesy of PPS)

The United Nations and the Government of Kenya signed a 4 year United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) estimated at $1.3 billion to complement the Government’s development program. The agreement signed by the Kenya Government and the United Nations Country team, under the ‘delivering as One’ initiative, will see the Government take control of development projects in the country while, the UN will improve the efficiency of its operations. The signing ceremony was witnessed by Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta.

The UNDAF expects to deliver on four main strategic results that include Transformational Governance, Human Capital Development, Inclusive Economic Growth and Environmental Sustainability land management and human security within the 2014 to 2018 timeline. This is well aligned to the Government’s second Medium Term Plan (MTPII) of the vision 2030.

Speaking at Statehouse Nairobi, during the signing ceremony, President Kenyatta lauded the United Nations cooperation with the Government and said the targeted activities are aimed at improving business environment, skills development and promoting job creation.  “I look forward to its implementation and to its positive impacts on the lives of Kenyans, particularly for those most disadvantaged.” He said. The president called on all implementing partners to ensure that the programme benefits the people and that it is implemented in a timely manner. “I wish to make it clear that our people’s expectations are very high and we cannot afford any laggards,” he warned. “We shall hold you, the implementing agencies, accountable for delivery of services funded by this programme.”

United Nations Resident Coordinator, Ms. Nardos Bekele-Thomas says that under the Delivering as One framework, the programme will help reduce costs and ensure a positive impact on the countries development. “From now, these projects will belong to the government rather than the previous years, and we expect that government will contribute much more than before.”

This is the fourth Development Assistance framework with the Government of Kenya and is first one under our 2010 Constitution and the newly devolved governance structure that decentralizes power and resources to our 47 counties. The programme will be implemented by 25 UN agencies that form the United Nations Country Team in Kenya. The programme has also brought on board the IMF and the World Bank for the very first time.

Kenya is now officially a ‘Delivering as One’ country. This initiative was set in motion when the President, then as the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, wrote to the United Nations Development Group Chair, Ms. Helen Clark, and requested that Kenya become a UN Delivering as One country in line with the Paris Declaration Principles on Development Assistance. The UN responded positively to this request.

The UN continues to have close collaborations with the Government of Kenya and development partners.  During the last programming cycle (2009-2013), the total programme delivery of United Nations Funds and Programmes in Kenya was close to 3 billion US dollars, equivalent to approximately Kenya shillings 258 billion.  The UN Resident Coordinator observed that 70% of the previous total delivery was for humanitarian activities, in response to emergencies and crises.  Only 30% or about Kenya shillings 86 billion went to medium and long-term development programmes. She emphasized that “the UN would seek to reverse this situation by focusing more on crisis prevention, and intensifying and expanding support to medium and long-term development programs.”