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Volume 670: debated on Thursday 10 March 2005

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asked Her Majesty's Government:In view of the recent allegations by the United Kingdom's High Commissioner in Kenya of corruption in named contracts concerning the Kenyan Government, and the United States Ambassador's threatened suspension of aid to Kenya, what steps they intend to take to suspend or cancel aid from the United Kingdom to Kenya. [HL1436]

DfID has no immediate plans to suspend or cancel the UK's development assistance to Kenya. DfID has produced clear guidance on the relationship between development assistance and tackling political governance issues of the type being faced in Kenya, and a co-ordinated and common response across the donor community will have more impact than working independently.DfID has made it clear to the government of Kenya (GoK), together with other donors, that action is required on behalf of the GoK to restore the confidence of the people of Kenya and rebuild the Government's credibility, including in the fight against corruption. DfID will not consider any support through the government budget and will argue against multilateral budget support unless and until this action is taken and confidence is restored.Kenya is making some progress. Implementation of the free primary education policy is applauded internationally and has brought an additional 1.3 million children into school. The fight against HIV/AIDS is moving in the right direction, and there are things DfID can and should do to make a difference to people's lives in Kenya. That is why around 50 per cent of the programme is currently spent on improving the health of women and children and combating HIV/ AIDS. There are compelling human and economic reasons for accelerating this work. For example, DFID expects to have distributed more than 11 million insecticide-treated bednets by the end of 2006, saving 170,000 lives.The development assistance provided by DfID does not go through the government budget. Over 70 per cent of the programme is and will continue to be targeted on education and health. All these funds are managed separately by financial management agents or through special, earmarked accounts or provided directly to civil society. In this way fiduciary risks are minimised while delivering key benefits to poor Kenyans and making a real contribution towards the millennium development goals.