Russia has contributed Sh109 million to support Kisumu county’s Covid-19 response and recovery.

The money will be used to enhance health systems and provide socio-economic support to women and youth who have been impacted by the pandemic.

The support, through the Russia-UNDP Trust Fund, will target counties in the Lake Victoria region, focusing on Kisumu County, where the Russian Federation has had historical ties through support to the establishment of the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Referral Hospital, also known as “Russia Hospital”, as well as the border counties of Busia and Migori.

Speaking at the Local Appraisal Committee, Mr Dmitry Maksimychev, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Kenya, said the contribution will strengthen efforts of the government in addressing the effects of Covid-19 on the healthcare system and communities.

Global trust fund

UNDP’s Resident Representative, Mr Walid Badawi, said the support is part of the global trust fund made available to UNDP to support interventions around the world where nine countries, including Kenya, have received funding from the trust fund.

“This is a very welcome and critical contribution that will enhance efforts of the Government of Kenya to respond to the multiple impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. The project is very much in line with the UN’s own Socio-Economic Response Plan to Covid-19 in Kenya as well as the national and county level Covid-19 socio-economic recovery strategies that UNDP has supported over the last several months together with our government and development partners,” said Mr Walid.

The funding will be deployed and managed by UNDP in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and is set to directly benefit 12,500 people through community level socio-economic interventions and 249 health care workers through provision of personal protective equipment and training.

In addition to the roll-out of the economic recovery strategy and county socio-economic re-engineering and recovery strategy, the support will also benefit 1,000 traders’ directly through e-commerce and entrepreneurship training and indirectly benefit a monthly average of 6,165 patients who visit the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital for various health services.

“We thank the Government of Russia and UNDP for this support. It is directly aligned to the Government of Kenya priorities in the fight against the pandemic. It also comes in to support the government in areas where we have not put significant investments such as addressing the impact of the pandemic from a gender perspective and mainstreaming of gender as part of the response,” said Ms Susan Mochache, Principal Secretary for Health.