Expansion to UN headquarters in Africa signals support for Kenya

“We are the only UN headquarters in a developing country,” UNON Director-General Klaus Toepfer said at the groundbreaking ceremony today. “It also underlines the importance to the UN family of this continent, this location and the confidence we have in Kenya as a stable and democratic country.”The total value of the UN to Kenya, including salaries to local staff, revenues from services such as telecommunications, letters and payments to local firms is estimated at $350 million annually, according to the latest available figures.The office space, scheduled to be completed in 2005, is needed to assist in the expansion of the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) following its recent promotion to a fully-fledged programme. There are also additional demands for space from the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Operation Life-Line Sudan and the World Food Programme (WFP).

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