Economy

NGOs warn of job losses as donors cut funding over virus

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Civil society groups have warned of job losses and projects freeze as international donors cut funding during coronavirus period. PHOTO | COURTESY

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Summary

  • Civil society groups have warned of job losses and project a freeze as international donors cut funding during coronavirus period.
  • Latest estimates from research organisation FoundationMark shows that grants to civil society groups in Kenya will initially drop by 4.8 percent, from last year’s Sh84 billion to Sh80 billion.
  • The decrease is set to cripple operations of the societies as more than 80 percent of their funds come from international well-wishers, the National Council of Non-Governmental Organisations has said.

Civil society groups have warned of job losses and projects freeze as international donors cut funding during coronavirus period.

Latest estimates from research organisation FoundationMark shows that grants to civil society groups in Kenya will initially drop by 4.8 percent, from last year’s Sh84 billion to Sh80 billion.

The decrease is set to cripple operations of the societies as more than 80 percent of their funds come from international well-wishers, the National Council of Non-Governmental Organisations has said.

Stephen Cheboi, the council’s chairman, said the drop will hurt community projects as some stall and societies trim workforce on funding.

“It will definitely affect us since most of our members do not have alternative sources of funds expect from these donations,” Mr Cheboi said, adding the council was developing a programme to enhance local funding for sustainability.

“We are also lobbying the government to partner with us on specific areas and expertise to maintain some projects afloat.”

So far, USAID-Afya Uzazi Programme has sent home about 20 percent of its employees as it struggles with low funding.

One of the affected employees who sought anonymity told the Business Daily that “only technical staff have remained to manage the organisation’s fewer projects.”

Data from the NGOs No-ordination Board shows that organisations received Sh165.9 billion in funding in 2019, compared to 153.2 billion in the preceding year.

World Vision Kenya, Care International and Compassion International Kenya received the highest amounts of Sh8.2 billion, 5.2 billion and 4.7 billion respectively during the review period.

According to the report, counties of Elgeyo-Marakwet, Nandi, Tharaka–Nithi, West Pokot and Bomet have the least number of NGO projects implementation due to poor infrastructure.

“Nairobi (1,252), Kiambu (396), Kisumu (387), Nakuru (372), Kajiado (335) and Mombasa (282) have the highest concentration of NGOs,” the report says.