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Working to make the Goals achievable

The Government of Kenya is working towards a long-term plan based on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to be used as a basis for subsequent medium-term planning, budgeting, and monitoring frameworks. In 2005, the Government published the MDG Needs Assessment and Costing Report to document the full range of investment efforts required to achieve the Goals. The Government has increased budgetary allocation of resources to the most important MDG sectors: agriculture, education, health, infrastructure, and the environment.

Tracking and monitoring the progress made towards attaining the targets at the national level is of major importance. In 2003 and again in 2005, the Government, with UNDP assistance, produced two MDG status reports, and a report for 2007 is in the process of finalization.

At the district level, a number of capacity-building and sensitization activities have been undertaken in order to strengthen joint planning, data collection, and monitoring and evaluation to deepen the impact of local-level interventions. These efforts are organized through district-based briefings targeting nine pilot Millennium Districts.

For MDG 1 (eradicating extreme poverty and hunger), the Kenya Integrated Household Budget Survey showed a decline in poverty from 56 per cent in the late 1990s to 46 per cent in 2006. There has been an overall increase in food production (especially grains), and this has significantly reduced the food poverty gap. But unemployment is still high, especially among youth, and the challenges of urbanization have led to stress on basic social services.

For the achievement of Goal 2 (universal primary education), with a population of school-age children of 5. 6 million in 2002, the Government in 2003 introduced free primary education, which led to increased enrolment rates across the country. With 7.7 million school-age children in 2007, the net enrolment ratio has reached an encouraging 84 per cent.

On the health front, the Government has increased the coverage on imunization to over 80 per cent and upgraded facilities in health centres. There is better access to drugs overall. The HIV/AIDS pandemic has had a devastating effect, with an estimated 1 million orphans. Free antiretroviral drugs are now available and 260,000 people benefit.

Reversing environmental degradation is a major challenge to sustainable development (Goal 7) in a country that is subject to droughts and floods.

The Government follows a ‘ring-fencing’ policy, by which the agreed allocations to the health, education, and poverty-related sectors are never reduced, whatever happens to the revenue. Other sectors may experience budget cuts, but the sectors on which achievement of the MDGs depends are protected.

Last uptaded 1 November 2007

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Population below PPP $1 per day
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NOTE: The MDG data presented here is the latest available from the United Nations Statistics Division. The World Bank has recently released new poverty estimates, which reflect improvements in internationally comparable price data. The new data estimates set a new poverty line of US$1.25 a day and offer a much more accurate picture of the cost of living in developing countries. They are based on the results of the 2005 International Comparison Program (ICP), released in first half of 2008. Country-specific poverty estimates will be released by the World Bank in late 2008