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Kenya not eligible for IMF emergency Food Relief

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) determined this week that Kenya will not be eligible for emergency loans to help vulnerable nations deal with food shortages and increased expenses brought on by Russia’s war in Ukraine.

According to the IMF, the new Food Shock Window will be accessible through its current Rapid Credit Facility and Rapid Financing Instrument programs for a full calendar year.

For nations who have “urgent balance of payment needs” and “are suffering from severe food insecurity, a strong food imports shock, or from a cereals export shock,” will be available.

No specific nations that would be qualified for the low-condition emergency loans under the new window were mentioned in the IMF release. How ever it has emerged that Kenya will not qualify for the facility.

Kenya’s exclusion from the facility is a huge blow for a country that is battling high inflation pressures from a surge in food and consumer prices despite concerted efforts to address food insecurity.

The IMF stated that Kenya will be able to ask for more access to funding under its current loan programs.

When it was authorized in April 2021, Kenya’s 38-month loan agreement with the IMF was valued at KSh282.1 billion.

The IMF hopes to alleviate the war-induced food shortages that are quickly evolving into the worst food security crisis since at least the global financial crisis of 2007–2008, putting the lives and livelihoods of 345 million people in immediate danger and driving up import costs for the most vulnerable nations by KSh108 billion.

In a statement, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said, “For some time now, the combination of climate shocks, the pandemic and regional conflicts has disrupted food production and distribution, driving up the cost of feeding people and families.”

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