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Unexpectedly, the Covid-19 pandemic hit across the globe triggering a ripple effect that intensified the root causes of inequality in society. The development architecture was upended, and the momentum towards sterling milestones stalled and pushed to the precipice of irredeemable loss. . Provision of essential services suffered near rock bottom declines due to the stringency of pandemic containment measures, an overstretched health workforce that lacked requisite equipment and protective gear, disruption in supply chains, and compromised community capacities and attitudes for service uptake.  All of this affected the gains that had already been attained in human health and social development. 


We have documented and interrogated drastic shifts in vulnerabilities during the Covid-19 pandemic. The surge in protection risks especially for women and girls even in supposedly secure home environments is a wake-up call for watertight vigilance and strategic responses to the pervasiveness of gender based violence in all its forms, including female genital mutilation and child marriage. The Covid-19 pandemic has affirmed our enduring concern for the youth, the ageing and elderly, and persons with disabilities as population categories that face amplified challenges in emergencies.


The pandemic did not diminish our resolve, but rather propelled us to embrace innovative approaches to delivering on the ICPD agenda. We leveraged new and strategic partnerships to retool and expand our capacities, making sure we reach the furthest behind. We partnered with government ministries, development agencies, civil society, the private sector, as well as religious groups in the fight to end preventable maternal deaths, the unmet need for family planning, and gender-based violence and harmful practices. We are conscientious in our plans and passionate in our actions to protect human dignity and renew hope after the worst health, economic and social catastrophe ever experienced any human alive today. 


We are emboldened and exude legitimate pride for what we collectively attained in 2020. Our singular commitment is to the Government and people of Kenya to promote holistic realization of the transformative aspirations spelt out in the Kenya Vision 2030 blue print, the Big 4 Agenda, and the ICPD25 Commitments. The lessons learnt, the phenomenal triumph of our partnership, and the undying glow of our common dreams are precious pillars of the future we seek to co-create.  We survived the worst in 2020; we can only achieve the best in 2021.  Today, let our commitments translate into action as we build forward better!