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Financing Global Early Warning Systems Country Case Study: Kenya

Kenya experienced a significant economic slowdown during the COVID-19 pandemic. Kenya’s extensive aviation connections throughout Africa, Europe, and Asia make Kenya one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa. The tourism sector, one of Kenya’s major industries and source of foreign exchange earners, experienced a $1 billion loss in revenue in 2020. Additionally, the pandemic had critical socioeconomic consequences for Kenya’s population, leading to unemployment, food insecurity, and disruptions in education.

Since 2020, the Milken Institute has promoted collaboration to develop and improve early warning systems (EWS) for pandemic preparedness and health security, convening experts and stakeholders to outline a vision for a global early warning network, as well as key considerations for governance, data, and financing. The early warning network would predict, detect, and monitor potential infectious disease outbreaks through cross-sector coordination, data collection, and data analysis, identifying unusual patterns or upticks in key indicators to prevent or mitigate disease spread.

To gain a more nuanced understanding of the challenge of creating a global EWS, the Institute conducted in-depth interviews with national and local stakeholders and organized roundtables, with a focus on Indonesia, Brazil, and Kenya.

This case study focuses on Kenya, where a population of 55 million people, multiple climate zones, and escalating health challenges due to climate change present unique challenges when it comes to establishing an EWS.