Supplies to United Nations (UN) agencies by Kenyan businesses dropped by $67 million last year edging out the country from the top ten spot, a new report shows.
Kenya's supplies in the period stood at Ksh62.4 billion last year dropping by 11 percent compared to the Ksh70.3 billion worth of goods supplied a year earlier.
The report did not give reasons for the drop. However last year was marked by Covid-19 disruptions that started in 2020 and affected businesses and disrupted the operations of global agencies.
The Covid-19 pandemic created short-term disruptions and provoked long-term changes in how the world lives and does business.
“Procurement from suppliers in Africa rose by $303 million overall due to increased procurement activity by WFP (World Food Programme), IOM (International Organisation for Migration) and Unicef in particular,” says the report.
“Kenya, the largest country by procurement volume in the region, experienced a $67 million decrease in procurement between 2020 and 2021, while procurement from suppliers in Nigeria and Ethiopia increased by $92 million and $89 million, respectively.” Kenya hosts several UN agencies including the UN headquarters in Africa.
The complex is the administrative centre of two main UN agencies: United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat).
The United Nations Office also hosts the global headquarters for two programmes — the United Nations Environmental Programme (Unep) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) among several others.
The US maintained its spot as the lead supplier to the UN by supplying goods worth Sh271 billion last year. The US tied the top spot with Mexico which also supplied goods of the same value in the period.
Health remained the largest procurement sector of the UN system.
Procurement in the sector almost doubled in 2021 to $10.6 billion, compared to $5.5 billion in 2020.
“A significant part of the increase in the sector was driven by procurement related to Covid-19 vaccines and their distribution,” said the UN whose agencies led efforts to combat the coronavirus disease.
Construction, engineering and science have been the second-largest sector.
In 2021, procurement in the above sectors reached $3.5 billion or 12 percent of total UN procurement.
In 2021, the UN sourced goods and services from suppliers in 223 different countries and territories, with growth across all geographical regions.