NETHERLANDS BOOSTS AMKENI WAKENYA WITH A $1.75 MILLION CONTRIBUTION
The Kingdom of the Netherlands has committed USD 1.75 Million (Ksh. 150 Million) to support ‘Amkeni Wakenya’, a UNDP led facility set up to promote citizen engagement in democratic governance in Kenya. The support seeks to enhance effective public participation in the new devolved system of Government.
Speaking during the ceremony of an amendment to of the existing agreement between the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands and the United Nations Development Program, Ambassador Joost Reintjes appreciated the work done by Civil Society Organizations through the Amkeni Wakenya Programme and its significant impact on democratic governance reforms in Kenya. He said that the Netherlands supports Amkeni because of “its unique approach which uses nascent community based organizations to target the poor, marginalized and minority groups as well as their new approach to devolution in enhancing citizen awareness. “
Appreciating the additional funding, UNDP Resident Representative a.i Mr. Steven Ursino, said “the support has come at a time when the people of Kenya are rolling out far-reaching changes that were introduced with the adoption of the 2010 Constitution. With these changes, including the setting up of county governments, the role for citizens and civil society is becoming ever more critical.” In particular, the funding will enable Civil Society Organizations to effectively contribute to the planning, budgeting and other development roles in the counties. It is expected that citizens will be empowered to effectively interrogate the allocation of funds to key areas that will have a direct impact on-in poverty alleviation. UNDP’s vision and mission is to lift as many people out of abject poverty as possible through its work in Kenya and globally.
The Kingdom of the Netherlands together with the Government of Norway, the European Union, the Government of Sweden as well as Japan, has supported Amkeni Wakenya since its inception in July 2008 and has so far contributed a total of USD 8.9 Million. .
Also present at the event was Fredrick Mutunga, the Deputy Head of UN Division, External Resource Department at the National Treasury as well as representatives from several Civil Society Organizations that are implementing partners of the Amkeni Wakenya Programme in Kenya