UN team in Kenya launches $7 million adolescents' bond

A pregnant teenager. A UN team in Kenya has launched a $7 million bond to support delivery of sexual and reproductive health services to adolescents in Kenya.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • A UN team in Kenya has launched a three-year investment for adolescent sexual reproductive health development.
  •  The $7 million bond to support delivery of SRH services to adolescents in Kenya  is projected to attract $13 million in additional funding.

A United Nations (UN) team in Kenya has launched a $7 million bond to support delivery of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services to adolescents in Kenya.

The three-year investment from the UN Joint SDG Fund is the first of its kind to be unveiled in the country by the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office, SDG Partnership Platform, UNFPA, WHO, and UNAids.

The adolescent sexual reproductive health development impact Bond is projected to attract $13 million in additional funding.

The amount would then be invested in a program dubbed In Their Hands implemented by Triggerise, enabling more than 500,000 teenagers in 10 counties access SRH and HIV services.

The counties include Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Migori, Homa Bay, Kisii, Nyamira, Bungoma, Busia and Kakamega.

“The development impact bond is a unique approach to development financing that allows for a performance-based process of determining outcomes and results,” said UNFPA Kenya Representative Anders Thomsen.

The funds projected to be raised from outcome funders and social investors would also support improvement of 300 primary health facilities in the respective counties, Mr Thomsen said.

HIV infections

Data from National Council for Population and Development shows a teenage girl in Kenya faces a triple threat of gender-based violence, pregnancy, and being infected with HIV.

For instance, by September, 2021, a total 23,117 girls between the ages of 10 and 19 were pregnant. At the same time, this age group had recorded 5,492 HIV new infections and 1,473 HIV-related deaths between January and October 2021.

UNFPA’s State of World Population 2022 report, revealed that nearly half of 121 million global annual pregnancies are unintended. And more than 60 per cent of them are aborted. Yet, an estimated 45 per cent of all abortions are unsafe, causing five to 13 per cent of all maternal deaths.

Going by a breakdown of the data, it means every day, some 331,000 women and girls across the world carry unintended pregnancies.

Kenya is one of the 20 countries that signed a 2013 ministerial commitment on comprehensive sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents and young people in Eastern and Southern Africa.

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