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UK Minister for International Development to visit Kenya

The UK Minister for the Department for International Development (DFID), James Wharton,will be in Kenya from 10-12 August, on his first visit to Africa in his new role.

Minister Wharton, who oversees development aid in Africa, will hold meetings with representatives from national and county government to discuss areas of mutual interest for the UK and Kenya relationship including trade, investment and how Kenya cancreate the conditions for increased private sector investmentsin tackling poverty.

As well as meeting leaders,theMinister will also have an opportunity to visit UK aid funded projects in Marsabit, where the UK is helping some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in Northern Kenya. Here he willmeet with people benefiting from the Hunger Safety Net Programme and Arid Support Programme and discuss the progress and impact of the programmes, which has already helped 1.5 million people.

Mr Wharton will also visit the Olkaria Geothermal Power plant and witness how UK aid is contributing to improved energy access for the people of Kenya by providing technicalsupport on policy and strategy in developing geothermal power.

Ahead of his visit Mr Wharton said: "I am looking forward to visiting Kenya and seeing first-hand the positive impact of the UK's support through its aid programme and the strong partnerships we've built over the years. Kenya remains a key bilateral partner for an outward looking and globally engaged UK and will continue to engage in matters of international cooperation and development."

"Tackling poverty, boosting economic growth and improving security and stability in Kenya is building a safer and more prosperous world which is in both Kenya and the UK's national interest."

This is the first official visit to Kenya by the Minister Wharton since he was appointed on Saturday 16 July under the new UK Prime Minister Theresa May.

The UK is one of the largest bilateral donors delivering aid to help the poorest Kenyans, improve health and education, tackle conflict and create jobs. We work closely with the Government of Kenya through joint donor-government Sector Working Groups to ensure alignment with Kenya's priorities.

In the last five years UK support has: enabled 550,000 children to access primary education; provided 450,000 women with family planning services; helped 1.1 million people cope with the effects of climate change; improved access to clean energy for 476,000 people; and, distributed over 11.2 million bed nets to prevent malaria.

Distributed by APO on behalf of British High Commission Nairobi.

Notes to editors:

1. James Wharton was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for International Development. He was elected Conservative MP for Stockton South in the UK in May 2010. You can find more information here: https://www.gov.uk/government/people/james-wharton

2.The UK helps support some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in Northern Kenya through electronic cash transfer programmes under the Hunger Safety Net Programme (HSNP). The cash is delivered though bank accounts and each beneficiary has a card that can be used to withdraw money. HSNP is reaching up to 600,000 people across Turkana, Marsabit, Wajir and Mandera counties.

3.In addition, DFID'sArid Lands Support Programme (ASP) is helping provide longer-term resilience to drought and shocks in some of the poorest counties in Kenya including Turkana, Marsabit, Wajir and Mandera. ASP complements HSNP and will use the HSNP mechanism to provide emergency cash transfers in times of drought

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