Procurement of United Nations (UN) agencies by Kenyan companies fell by 7.9 billion shillings last year, pushing the country out of first place, according to a new report.
Supplies from Kenya during the period amounted to 62.4 billion shillings last year, down 11% from the 70.3 billion shillings of goods supplied a year earlier.
The report did not give reasons for the decline. However, the past year has been marked by the Covid-19 disruptions which began in 2020 and affected businesses and disrupted global agency operations.
The Covid-19 pandemic has created short-term disruptions and caused long-term changes in the way the world lives and does business.
“Procurement from suppliers in Africa increased by a total of $303 million due to increased procurement activity from WFP (World Food Programme), IOM (International Organization for Migration) and the United States. ‘UNICEF in particular,’ the report said.
“Kenya, the largest country by volume of procurement in the region, saw a decline of $67 million (7.9 billion shillings) between 2020 and 2021, while purchases from suppliers in Nigeria and Ethiopia increased by $92 million (10.8 billion shillings) and $89 million (10.5 billion shillings), respectively. Kenya is home to several United Nations agencies, including the United Nations Headquarters in Africa.
The complex is the administrative center of two main United Nations agencies: the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) and the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat).
The United Nations Office also hosts the global headquarters of two programs – the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat), among others.
The United States retained its position as the UN’s main supplier, supplying goods worth 271 billion shillings last year. The United States tied for first place with Mexico, which also supplied goods of the same value during the period.
Health remained the main supply sector of the United Nations system.
Purchases in the sector nearly doubled in 2021 to $10.6 billion (1.2 trillion shillings) from $5.5 billion (649 billion shillings) in 2020.
“A significant part of the sector’s increase was driven by purchases related to Covid-19 vaccines and their distribution,” said the UN, whose agencies have led efforts to fight the coronavirus disease.
Construction, engineering and science was the second largest sector.
In 2021, procurement in the above sectors reached $3.5 billion (413 billion shillings), or 12% of total UN procurement.
In 2021, the UN sourced goods and services from suppliers in 223 different countries and territories, with growth in all geographic regions.