Kenya gets $150 million World Bank credit for climate financing

Photo of World Bank logo.PHOTO/AP

The World Bank has granted Kenya 16.7 billion shillings (about 150 million U.S. dollars) to support the country’s climate action plan, the National Treasury said Wednesday.

The Treasury said the money will be used to strengthen local resilience to the impact of climate change through a 10-year program dubbed financially locally-led climate action starting in 2020.

“Climate change remains the biggest challenge of our age, with Kenya’s climate-sensitive economy being prone to droughts and floods with an economic liability of up to 2.8 percent of the GDP annually,” said the Treasury, noting the funds will help strengthen the response to climate change.

Keith Hansen, the World Bank country director for Kenya, said that Nairobi has demonstrated leadership in establishing a policy framework to manage climate risk though climate action is still underfunded.

Hansen added that financing from the bank’s International Development Association (IDA) will strengthen the national government’s capacity to support county government actions, enhance the collaboration between national entities on climate change, and facilitate national oversight of the program.

World Bank Senior Social Development Specialist and Task Team Leader Nicholas Soikan said communities in rural Kenya, especially those in arid and semi-arid regions which have been affected by the impacts of climate change such as droughts and floods, outbreaks of climate-related diseases, low farmland productivity, and declining livestock, will be the primary beneficiaries of the program.

The IDA financing will be supplemented by a grant of 21.4 million dollars from the Social Sustainability Initiative for All Umbrella Multi-Donor Trust Fund with resources from Denmark and Sweden, making a total of 171.4 million dollars.

According to the Treasury, through the financing agreement, Kenya will be a global pioneer in operationalizing social resilience principles of devolved finance and participatory climate-risk management.