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World Bank pledges Sh1.8 trillion for Kenya days after Sh142.8 billion IMF loan

The government officials have defended the credit line as confidence by internal lenders while others have criticised the financing, saying it leads to more debt and contradicts the government's claims that the previous regime sank Kenya in a debt hole.

President William Ruto with World Bank Kenya Director Keith Hansen at State House, Nairobi

The World Bank has pledged to support Kenya with a financial package of $12 billion (Sh1.8 trillion) over the next three fiscal years (2024-2026).

This announcement further propels the World Bank as Kenya's biggest development finance partner.

In a press release on Monday, November 20, the World Bank reaffirmed its commitment to help Kenya journey towards achieving upper-middle-income status by 2030.

The $12 billion financial package awaits approval by the World Bank executive directors and will be dependent on the bank's lending capacity.

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"So, subject to the World Bank Executive Directors approval of new operations, and to factors which may affect the Bank's lending capacity, this implies a total financial package of $12 billion over the three years," the statement read.

The World Bank's historical role as Kenya's largest provider of development finance has been pivotal in shaping the nation's economic landscape.

Currently, Kenya accesses approximately $2 billion (Sh305 billion) in concessional financing each year.

This comes just days after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) pledged $682.3 million (Sh104 billion) loan, boosting the current lending program by $938 million (Sh143 billion).

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This agreement is subject to the approval of the IMF's executive board.

Kenya is currently grappling with a heavy debt load and pressure on its foreign currency reserves.

National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung'wa defended the finance facilities as a an expression of confidence by the international lenders.

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"This is what sound macroeconomic policies attract. When you do good the world sees it and supports you. Kenya is on the right track and the nay sayers will in due time see it, feel it and share in the progress and prosperity coming of the right leadership," he said.

On the other hand many Kenyans have criticised the financing, saying it leads to more debt and contradicts the government's claims that the previous regime sank Kenya in a debt hole.

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