World Bank Sees $12bln Support to Kenya Over Next 3 Years

NAIROBI – The World Bank said on Monday that it foresaw $12 billion of support to Kenya over the next three years, potentially a major boost to the East African country’s strained finances.

The bank said in a statement that the total amount was subject to the approval of its executive directors and other factors that could influence its lending capacity.

Kenya’s public finances have been pressured by the legacy of the COVID-19 pandemic and frequent climate change-induced droughts.

“The World Bank is fully committed to support Kenya in its journey to become an upper-middle-income country by 2030,” the statement said.

“Subject to the World Bank Executive Directors approval of new operations, and to factors which may affect the bank’s lending capacity, this implies a total financial package of $12 billion over the three years.”

World Bank Country Director Keith Hansen said the $12 billion comprised money Kenya currently had available from the International Development Association, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Finance Corporation and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, “plus what we expect to provide in the coming three years”.

“This will likely include Development Policy Operations as well as new investments in a wide range of sectors such as energy, health, transport and water,” Hansen said.

Kenya has faced acute liquidity challenges caused by uncertainty over its ability to access funding from financial markets before a $2 billion Eurobond matures next June.

Last week the International Monetary Fund reached a staff-level agreement with Kenya, unlocking immediate access to another $682 million tranche of funding and boosting its current lending programme by $938 million.

Hansen said in light of recent government announcements and the IMF staff agreement, the World Bank wanted to “make clear the likely magnitude of resources Kenya can count on”.

Source : Zawya

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