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28.03.2012 Kenya

Finland Donates Kshs. 150 Million for Human Rights in Kenya

By United Nations Development Programme (PNUD)
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NEW YORK, March 28, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Government of Finland today donated 150 million shillings (US$1.9 million) to support human rights in Kenya. The funds will support the realization of Human Rights and Access to Justice in Kenya at the national and country level. The funds were donated to UNDP's Integrated Human Rights Project in which the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights is the main implementing partner.

During the bilateral agreement signing ceremony at the UNDP offices in Nairobi, attended by UNDP representatives and Dr. Samuel Tororei, acting chairperson for KNCHR, the Finland's Minister for International Development Ms. Heidi Hautala commended Kenya for passing a right-based constitution last year adding that the one-year funding will contribute to increase national capacity in government and civil society organizations targeting vulnerable and marginalized communities, including women, persons with disabilities, youth, children and pastoralist communities.

“Finland will further support the Kenyan Government to execute the new Constitution, particularly in areas of governance, judiciary system and electoral processes,” said Hautala. The Finnish Minister while accompanied by H.E. Sofie From- Emmesberger, Finland Ambassador to Kenya, further discussed with UN representatives democracy and human rights situation of Kenya, and the political and humanitarian situation of Somalia.

Mr. Aeneas Chuma, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Kenya said: “Development partners need to support Kenya's governance and electoral process, particularly to build the capacity of the newly established Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to manage the next elections.”

Mr. Chuma also said that the country has made tremendous progress in judicial system reforms and the Chief Justice needs support from development partners to implement these reforms.

While Mr. Mark Bowden, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia said: “Humanitarian situation in Somalia is deteriorating with famine impact still being prevalent, high infant mortality and malnutrition rates, failed rains and the Al Shabaab.”

“In the next six months, we are moving into a more complex humanitarian situation. The Al shabaab rebels have changed tact and have retreated into the countryside since AMISOM and Transitional Federal Government Forces control major towns,” said Mr. Bowden.

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