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Gov’t, development partners to form taskforce to look into hastening absorption of donor funds

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The Government and Development Partners have agreed to form a taskforce to look into hastening absorption of donor funds allocated various programmes across the country.

They will also work on enhancing the country’s resilience against negative effects of Climate Change and other challenges hampering the nation’s social-economic growth.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua on Tuesday said the formation of the taskforce is part of steps being taken by the Kenya Kwanza administration to enhance Government’s collaboration with the Development Partners and accelerate socio-economic growth.

“We encourage continuous engagement with our development partners. President Ruto administration modus operandi is continuous engagement with our partners and so far it has worked very well for us. We have removed the bottlenecks that frustrated our engagement. The President has spelt out the need to lessen bureaucracy and red tape so that we can make progress in our partnership,” said Gachagua.

He spoke when he hosted the Second Development Partnership Forum at his official residence in Karen, Nairobi.

The meeting was attended by the Co-chairs of Development Partnership Forum Sebastian Groth (German Ambassador to Kenya) and Dr Stephen Jackson (UN Resident Coordinator) were also present, Head of Public Service Felix Koskei, Cabinet Secretaries, Ambassadors and Heads of Missions, top Government officials and representative of various agencies.

“We recognise that improving absorption rates of funds require addressing challenges on both sides in project implementation, and ensuring timely disbursement and utilisation of funds,” said the Deputy President.

The taskforce, comprising government and development partner representatives, will be mandated to work on and address challenges such as absorption funds and grants.

Asking the taskforce to move with speed in addressing the challenges, Mr Gachagua said he and Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi will continue meeting at the High Level Consultation Forum, which they co-chair, to deal with impediments that may be hindering expeditious implementation of the agreed development programmes.

A joint statement read by the Principal Secretary State Department for National Treasury, Dr Chris Kiptoo, after the meeting indicated that both Government and the Development Partners agreed that absorption of committed funds and loans has not been at its optimal level.

He said both parties have common desire to address the challenges and obstacles hindering the absorption of funds.

At the Forum, the Kenyan Government and its development partners agreed to mandate the taskforce (comprising government and development partner representatives), which will work to identify concrete recommendations on how to address key challenges including those related to absorption capacities such as counterpart funding, human resource capacities and competencies, use of harmonized principles for more effective and efficient use of financial resources.

Further, they agreed that the taskforce will present these recommendations to Cabinet for approval and report back at the next Development Partnership Forum (DPF),” said Dr Kiptoo.

Both parties, he stated, also agreed to give more visibility and importance to Development Partners’ support; including support that does not flow in the form of direct budget, and strive to align their projects with the Government core development priorities (Bottom-Up economic Transformation Agenda).

Dr Kiptoo added that both the Government and Development groups encouraged stepping up efforts to achieve concrete results towards enhanced resilience at the relevant levels in Kenya in an inclusive and gender-responsive manner.

This, he said, will include considering building of buffers and more flexible funding that allows reprogramming in response to potential risks or shocks.
He stated that the partnership embodies the vision of the Government of Kenya and that of the Development Partners to harness the potential to further strengthen and consolidate their joint comprehensive partnership in all areas of bilateral and multilateral endeavours.

In his remarks, the Deputy President urged Kenya’s Development Partners to support the Government’s efforts to consolidate information on all the support provided to Kenya, whether on or off-budget.

He said this will enhance efficient, fair allocation and distribution of resources across the various sectors.

“The Government is grateful for the emergency support provided by the development partners, private sector, civil society, and well-wishers during the recent devastating floods in the country,” DP Gachagua said.

He added that many of the partners provided their material and in-kind support through UN Agencies and the Kenya Red Cross, the Kenya Private Sector Alliance Foundation, and numerous community and religious organisations.

Co-chair of the Development Partnership Forum, Dr Stephen Jackson, who is also the UN Resident Coordinator in Kenya, commended the Government for working closely with the non-state development agencies and said the Development Partners are committed to continue supporting government and enhance transparency and accountability.

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