US cuts aid to Kenya's Health ministry over corruption

US envoy says aid will resume once the government puts in place accountability measures.

US Ambassador to Kenya Robert F. Godec. PHOTO | FILE 

BY EUNICE KILONZO and ANITA CHEPKOECH

IN SUMMARY

  • Godec clarified that direct support to patients including provision of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) to HIV patients will continue.
  • Activities including salaries and wages, operations, domestic and international travel as well as meetings and workshops have been suspended.
  • Efforts to get a comment from Afya House on the development was futile as the Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu did not respond by the time of going to press.

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The US government says it has suspended financial aid to Kenya's Ministry of Health due to corruption and lack of accountability.

American ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec however clarified Tuesday morning that direct support to patients including provision of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) to HIV patients will continue.

"What we have withheld is the direct support to the Ministry of Health. We will resume once the government puts in place accountability measures," he said during a training of vernacular radio station journalists on election reporting.

In a letter signed by Brian Woody, the USAid/Kenya and East Africa contracting officer, the US announced Monday that it had suspended support of activities including salaries and wages, operations, domestic and international travel as well as meetings and workshops.

The aid cut had been communicated to the Kenyan government on May 4, according to Mr Woody’s letter.

“Any activities conducted with the MoH during the period of suspension will not be reimbursed by the United States government,” says the letter dated May 8.

Further, Mr Woody in the two-page letter, said USAid will meet with representatives of the affected programmes on Wednesday morning for an informal meeting at the Lord Errol hotel in Nairobi.

Efforts to get a comment from the ministry on the development was futile as the Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu did not respond by the time of going to press.

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