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PRESS RELEASEMarch 14, 2024

Kenya Secures $215 Million to Bolster Primary Healthcare Services and Enhance Institutional Capacity

NAIROBI, March 14, 2024 — Kenyan citizens are set to benefit from improvements in the quality and utilization of primary healthcare services and stronger institutional capacity to deliver vital health services. Women and children from low-income backgrounds who heavily rely on primary healthcare services, as well as refugees and host communities in Garissa and Turkana, are key beneficiaries.

The $215 million Building Resilient and Responsive Health Systems Project will strengthen the capacity of key institutions that will play a critical role in Kenya’s progress towards universal health coverage (UHC). The capacity of the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) will be strengthened to ensure timely availability of health products and technologies at the primary health care (PHC) level and enhanced transparency and accountability in fiduciary processes. The project will also address challenges related to geographical inequities in health outcomes, health financing and quality of care reforms, shortages of human resources, parallel health services for refugees with limited county engagement, as well as the suboptimal availability and use of quality data for decision making.

“By investing at the primary health care level, the project will contribute towards laying a solid foundation for the delivery of health services in Kenya,” said Keith Hansen, World Bank Country Director for Kenya. “It will improve the provision and utilization of quality primary health care services to support evidence-based decisions, ultimately improving health outcomes.

In Garissa and Turkana counties, refugees and their host communities face barriers to accessing healthcare services that mostly affect women and children. The project will support the provision of robust health services to address the needs of approximately 1.8 million host community members and 590,000 refugees in these counties.

“The project will support the Kenyan government’s UHC reforms agenda, including the transition from the National Health Insurance Fund to the Social Health Authority (SHA),” said Jane Chuma, World Bank Senior Health Economist, and the Task Team Leader. “It will also support the implementation process including the operationalization of SHA, the development of business processes and benefit packages, and the strengthening regulatory bodies.”

The project aligns with the FY23-FY28 World Bank Group Country Partnership Framework’s

objectives, particularly on the need to increase access to social health insurance, improving access to quality health care services and expanding UHC reforms. It will also directly contribute to the priorities identified in the Kenya Health Policy 2014-2030, the Kenya Health Sector Strategic Plan (2018-2023), the Kenya UHC Policy (2020-2030), and the Kenya Health Financing Strategy (2020-2030). 

Kenya’s leadership and commitment to improving the health of women, children and adolescents has resulted in remarkable progress over the past few years. With this second grant financing and technical assistance, the Global Financing Facility** (GFF) continues to support the government to strengthen primary health care and bring services closer to communities in the hardest-to-reach areas—an important step in achieving universal health coverage,” said Luc Laviolette, Head of the GFF Secretariat.

Of the $215 million, $160 million is from the International Development Association (IDA), $40 million from the IDA Window for Host Communities and Refugees, and $15 million is from the Global Financing Facility.

*The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 74 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.3 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has provided $496 billion to 114 countries. Annual commitments have increased steadily and averaged about $34.7 billion over the last three years (FY20-FY22), with about 70 percent going to Africa. Learn more online: #IDAworks

**The GFF is a country-led partnership, hosted by the World Bank, that fights poverty and inequity by advancing the health, rights and opportunities of women, children and adolescents. It does this by supporting low- and lower-middle-income countries to strengthen their health systems and improve the quality of and access to health care through prioritized plans, aligned financing, and policy reform. Since partnering with the GFF, countries have reached: 100 million pregnant women with four or more antenatal care visits; 130 million women with safe delivery care; 135 million newborns with early initiation of breastfeeding; 630 million women and adolescents with modern contraceptives, preventing 230 million unintended pregnancies.



Keziah Muthembwa
+254 20 2936484
Daniella Van Leggelo Padilla


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