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Kenya, Belgium sign 10 million euro deal

08 November 2013, 08:16

Nairobi - Kenya and the Belgium on Thursday signed a 10-million-euro financial agreement to improve Kenya's response to disasters.

Belgium's Ambassador to Kenya Bart Ouvry told journalists in Nairobi that the assistance will be used to improve coordination during disasters in order to minimize loss of lives.

"The 10 million euros financial assistance is a mix of a grant and loan and will assist Kenya's preparedness against disasters," Ouvry said when he signed the agreement with Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero.

Ouvry said that the concessional loan has a repayment period of 20 years. The envoy said that the finance is an indication of the growing relations between Kenya and Belgium.

"Kenya is vulnerable to a myriad of disasters including fire which have a huge negative socio economic effect on the economy," he said. "Informal settlements in urban areas are especially vulnerable to loss of live due to lack of basic infrastructure such as roads, water and electricity," he said.

Kidero said that the funds will be used to enhance national disaster management at the local government level. "We will take a more proactive approach when dealing with natural and manmade disasters," Kidero said.

Kenya is in the process of putting in place a national policy on disaster management. "This will mitigate the suffering that communities undergo when an incident happens," he said.

He added that the assistance will improve the capacity of the Nairobi city to deal with fire emergencies. "The funds have been earmarked for the establishment of two fire stations as well as purchase fire equipment," Kidero said. 

- Xinhua

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