UK pledges continued support to Kenya

September 24, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 24 – The United Kingdom has pledged to sustain its financial assistance to Kenya despite cutting back its budget following the global financial crisis.

British MP David Cairns said on Thursday that the UK was determined to maintain its spending for International development directly to governments and indirectly.

Speaking when he paid a courtesy call to Medical Services Minister Anyang\’ Nyong\’o, Mr Cairns said that the British government aimed to make sufficient savings by cutting on administration costs to increase their contribution especially for treatment of HIV.

"I have met so many groups in my stay here (Kenya) who are empowering themselves… who are working with the Kenyan government.  Civil societies empower themselves to take control of their own treatment, their own lives and we the United Kingdom must remain committed to working here in Kenya and Africa," the British MP said.

Minister Nyong\’o said the Ministry\’s strategic plan addressed the issue of treatment for persons living with HIV as well as the promotion of prevention of transmission.

"We are not going back on the HIV/AIDS policy.  If anything, the aim really is to ensure that those who need to be put on anti-retroviral treatment are put on the medication but that means that the drugs must be available and at the moment there is an arrangement with the Global Fund to do so. But we are moving very aggressively to ensure that in the long run we are self reliant," the Minister said.

Mr Cairns also lauded the strategic plan saying it recognised the importance of getting medical services to the groups at highest risk.

"Whether we approve or not approve of someone\’s lifestyle, they have a right to medical treatment and the strategic plan recognises that," he said. "But there is more to be done as long as we are having new HIV infections."

Mr Cairns said that the government needed to put much more effort in reducing mother-to-child transmissions which could tame infection rates.

He also noted that Kenya was making efforts to restructure the way the Global Fund is handled in the country.

"We don\’t want to see the money in the bank account in Geneva; so if we can have a new arrangement here in Kenya which sees the Global Fund operating as effectively as it possibly can, it means that money will never go back to Geneva but will stay here and be spent for the well being of the people of Kenya," Mr Cairns said.


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