What you need to know:
- The Anti-FGM Board is the agency the country is banking on to help eliminate the outlawed cultural practice and implement the Prohibition of FGM Act 2011.
- In the 2021/2022 budget, only Sh102 million has been allocated to the board against a request of Sh500 million.
Gender and human rights activists have raised concerns over the continued underfunding of the Anti-FGM Board in the country’s annual budget.
The Anti-FGM Board is the agency the country is banking on to help eliminate the outlawed cultural practice and implement the Prohibition of FGM Act 2011.
In the 2021/2022 budget being presented at the National Assembly by Treasury CS Ukur Yattani today, only Sh102 million has been allocated to the board against a request of Sh500 million.
The underfunding of the board has been a subject of a heated conversation on social media platforms with gender and human right activists calling for a review of the allocation.
Advocates including Sadia Hussein an FGM survivor, now championing against the outlawed practice, say the low funding is a big blow to the board, which requires an estimated Sh2.1 billion to implement its five year strategic plan (2019-2023)
“Whereas the Anti-FGM Board had a good strategic plan, it is unfortunate it is not being allocated the resources it requires. Let us raise our voices on behalf of the board so that the National Assembly can find it wise to look into the matter before they approve the budget,” said a Mr Bonyo E.D.
Anti-FGM Board Chief Executive Officer Bernadette Loloju, said there is need for the agency to be adequately funded if it has to achieve a FGM-free country.
Ms Loloju revealed the board is in talks with Treasury to seek ways of raising more money for the agency.
“We have met Treasury officials and they have agreed to fundraise for us; we are now working on the concept before sending it to them. There is a lot of goodwill on the matter,” she said.
The agency, she noted, is also banking on development partners for funding to continue with the campaign to end FGM by 2022.
“The 22 FGM hotspot counties are expansive and need a lot of resources to transverse. We need the anti-FGM campaign at the community level, not in boardrooms,” said the CEO.
She, however, lauded the political goodwill to eradicate the vice as shown by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive in 2019.
She said Kenya is the only country in the African continent with an anti-FGM board and currently funding anti-FGM activities.
In November 2019, President Kenyatta issued a directive that FGM, in the country, must be eradicated by 2022.
The Anti-FGM Board is a semi-autonomous government agency that was established in December 2013 following the enactment of the Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act, 2011.
The board is among others tasked with designing, supervising and coordinating public awareness programs against the practice of female genital mutilation;
It is also responsible for advising the government on matters relating to FGM, designing and formulating a policy on the planning, financing and coordinating of all activities relating to the outlawed practice
The board is also mandated with offering technical and other support to institutions, agencies and other bodies engaged in the programs aimed at eradication of FGM.