US suspends aid to Kenya's health ministry over corruption

The U.S. Embassy in Kenya says it has suspended approximately $21 million in assistance to Kenya's ministry of health because of concerns about corruption.

A statement from the embassy said Tuesday the step was taken due to reports of corruption and weak accounting procedures at the ministry. Late last year Kenya's security agencies started an investigation in the ministry over the alleged diversion of more than $50 million.

Kenya is ranked 145 out of 176 countries in Transparency International's index of the world's most corrupt countries. According to a government survey published last year, corruption permeates key government sectors in East Africa's largest economy. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta held a special conference on corruption last year where he said he is frustrated by the problem.