Top Ten Grantmaking Donors for NGOs in Kenya

According to Global Humanitarian Assistance, Kenya received $537 million in official humanitarian assistance in 2011, making it the world’s eighth largest recipient of aid. NGOs received over  $95 million in 2011 to be used on development projects throughout the country.


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In this East African nation of 37 million people, agriculture employs 75 percent of the population, and most food production is in the hands of smallholder farmers. AGRA supports improved access to credit, market information systems, strong agro-dealer networks, and relatively high use of inputs, Kenya’s agricultural system is among the most developed in Africa. Agriculture accounts for 23 percent of GDP, and has been one of the country’s fastest growing sectors, expanding at a rate of 7.6 percent in 2007. Despite these advantages, millions lack food security. AGRA is focussed on improving the effectiveness of social initiatives such as extension services, while minimizing its own role in commercial activities to allow for growth of the private sector

2. Ford Foundation

The Foundation marks 50 years of working on the frontlines of social change in Eastern Africa. Our work is rooted in the belief that East Africans can realize their own vision of a just, equitable, democratic and peaceful region. Grantmaking focuses on breaking down barriers that prevent many East Africans—particularly women and youth—from acting as engaged citizens and contributing to the region’s future.

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In particular, we support organizations across Eastern Africa that help poor farmers gain access to markets and enable communities dependent on natural resources to become recognized stewards of their lands, so they can expand their livelihoods and build assets; Empower women—who dominate much of the agricultural sector but whose access to land, markets and other resources remains limited—so they can play a role in advancing progress in the region as a whole; and Promote gender equality and human rights so that all East Africans can contribute to, and benefit from, society’s social and economic development


The fight against poverty in Kenya is making progress, albeit slowly. The effects of recent economic improvements have helped many people, though not the poorest. By expanding our cooperation, we want to contribute to a fairer society for the many poor in East Africa’s most important economy.

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The overall goal of Swedish development cooperation with Kenya envisions a Kenya in which all poor people will have the opportunity to improve their lives and in which their human rights are respected. Sida’s development aid to Kenya is governed by Sweden’s cooperation strategy with Kenya 2009-2013.

4. Agence Francais Development

In Kenya, the support of AFD gives priority to establishing basic infrastructure, including energy and transport, with a significant impact on environmental issues (biodiversity, natural resource management and the fight against climate change). By financing integrated urban programs and essential investment, in particular in the field of water and sanitation; economic growth through the promotion of the private sector as the engine of growth and job creator.

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The friendship between the United States and the Republic of Kenya spans over 50 years, dating back to Kenya’s independence. USAID stand by Kenya in their journey to achieve the goals outlined in Kenya’s Vision 2030, the country’s long-term development blueprint.  This vision for change aims to transform the country into a “middle-income country providing a high quality life to all its citizens.” In line with these goals, USAID is working closely with government, private sector and civil society partners to: Make devolution work for the benefit of all Kenyans; Develop sustainable systems to ensure that all citizens are healthy and educated; and Lay a foundation for long-term economic growth.

6. European Union

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In 1976, when Kenya became the first country to sign a National Indicative Programme for co-operation with the European Community under the first Lomé Convention, a partnership was established that was destined to last.Today, the European Union remains a steady and significant supporter of Kenya’s economic and social development, and a major partner in the country’s integration into the global marketplace.

The Cotonou Agreement signed in 2003 emphasises the need for a comprehensive approach to sustainable development, including trade and political dialogue, also bringing non-state actors into the process. It is in this context that the Kenya Government and the EU are engaged in regular political dialogue covering areas such as economic reform, constitutional developments, human rights and regional affairs.


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The Agency for Cooperation and Research in Development (ACORD) has been working in Kenya since 2005 in response to the chronic droughts faced by pastoralist communities along the Kenya and Tanzania border and recently the northern regions of Marsabit and Mandera. This involves strengthening capacity of small-scale farmer and pastoralist organisations to engage in processes around the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) and the Pastoralist Policy Framework of the African Union, agricultural pricy literacy and advocacy.

The ACORD Kenya Programme in partnership with UN Women, WIFIP and other CSOs Network have been working with women political aspirants in Kenya with a focus in Kisumu and Migori since January 2012. The initiative has been geared towards encouraging women to actively participate in leadership, in specific having women vie for legislative and governance positions through the electoral process. Through mentoring and training women were supported to gain better understanding of the political landscape in which they operate.


Australia’s strategic approach to Kenyan aid during 2011–15 is to help selected African countries progress the MDGs. The focus will be on areas where Australia has particular strengths, where progress is seriously off track and where strong frameworks exist for achieving effective results. One core strategy to tackle poverty and food insecurity is to increase agricultural productivity through farming systems intensification, diversification and improved market access.


The Norwegian Development Agency supports extensive election reforms and preparations for the national elections, including presidential elections, parliamentary elections and the new county parliament elections in 2013. A lot is at stake for Kenya and Norway is supporting a number of peace promoting measures through local partners. Important elements here are raising awareness about the legal system, human rights and mobilisation of the people to observe implementation of the reforms required by the new constitution. Norwegian aid for follow-up of the dialogue and reconciliation agreement has caused the parties in the coalition government to stay focused on the political reform process. Dialogue with national and local authorities has also improved.

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10. UK Aid

UK Aid represent the British government in its relations with the Kenyan government and support British interests in Kenya. This stems from our shared history, enduring friendship and vital political, economic, commercial & cultural interests. UK Aid priorities in Kenya include helping Kenya to achieve the Millennium Development Goals; Supporting development in Kenya; and creating a safer Kenya.

Article written by Ambreen Muzaffar, edited by Robin Toal.

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  1. Avatar Violet Olesia Lumbasio says

    We are a group of professionals who started western peace development Initiative after the post election violence in Kenya. We help the orphans and women who were affected by post election violence and their lands taken over by people who believed to be their enemies.
    Most of them lost their schools as a result of arsonists attack and would not attend previous school. We decided to give the hope by providing primary education through our pockets and we are looking for partners to share the responsibility and probably build a school and children’s home.