The United States through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has donated Ksh759 million to local communities in the Mara landscape, Northern, and Coastal Kenya.
In an announcement on October 4, the US said the $7 million 3 -year Local Works program support local communities recover from the loss of tourism and livelihoods due to adverse impacts of COVID-19.
Local Works will engage local leaders and community members to design solutions that will attract and increase private sector investment, support economic empowerment of local communities, especially for women and youth, and enhance the capacity of community conservancies to access funding necessary for them to thrive and establish stable livelihoods.
Ambassador Kyle McCarter and USAID Acting Administrator John Barsa announced the program during a visit to the Naboisho Conservancy.
“Tourism is critical to a strong Kenyan economy and the United States is committed to helping Kenya’s magnificent tourist areas remain strong as tourists start to return,” said Ambassador McCarter.
“By focusing our assistance directly to and for local communities, we ensure the funds are used by those who know what is needed best and increase transparency and accountability. USA Marafiki means making sure our support goes where it is needed,” he emphasized.
Acting Administrator Barsa said, “Local Works will focus on conserving biodiversity and wildlife, increasing women’s participation in the governance and leadership processes and provide opportunities for women-owned, conservation-focused enterprises.”
The program will be fully driven by conservancy leadership and their members and grounded on what they identify as their highest priorities.
The US government has also donated 200 state-of-the-art ventilators to assist the fight against Covid-19 in Kenya.
USAID will deliver the ventilators directly to the facilities selected by the Kenyan government and ensure that they are recorded in the inventory books of the counties receiving them.
“These ventilators are another example of American expertise and generosity in the global battle against the virus,” McCarter said on Monday.
This ventilator support is in addition to the KSh6B already committed to support Kenya’s #COVID19 response through equipment, testing, training, and research, as well as supporting health, water & sanitation, education, employment and food security needs