US meltdown will not affect Kenya

September 26, 2008

, NAIROBI, September 26 – The economic turbulence facing the American markets will have little or no impact on the Kenyan market.

Acting Finance Minister John Michuki and American ambassador Michael Ranneberger have said it will take a while for any trickle down effect to be felt in the country.

They both feel the problem was unique to the American mortgage market and had no direct relation to Kenya’s financial operations.

“This will have a very small if any impact and once the interventions are in place, I really think you will see the US economy start to rebound fairly quickly,” Mr Ranneberger said.

The two were speaking during the signing of five development assistance agreements worth Sh25.6 billion.

The assistance is intended for the support of implementation of various projects in key sectors like health, environment and natural resources, agriculture among others.

“Under the health sector the assistance will go towards financing HIV/AIDS initiatives and prevention of other transmissible diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis.  These are preventable diseases but they continue to exert a heavy tool on the population,” Mr Michuki said

The agreements and the broader US engagement are focused on elimination poverty and disease, especially with respect to HIV/AIDS and malaria, promoting good governance and combating corruption among other aspects.

The pact increases US government support, including emergency humanitarian assistance to over Sh49 billion this year.  

Meanwhile the Chinese government has extended a Sh197 million grant to Kenya that will be used to mitigate the effects of post-election violence.

Chinese ambassador to Kenya Zhang Ming said the funds would be used to assist in the resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons and the procurement of corrugated sheets for individuals displaced from their farms.

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