United Nations agencies appealed today for $29 million to assist 1.2 million Kenyans who have been struggling with critical shortages of food and safe water, limited agricultural production and grave deficiencies in basic health care caused by drought and extreme poverty, especially in the southeast and the rural areas of the coastal and northeastern provinces.
United Nations agencies appealed today for $29 million to assist 1.2 million Kenyans who have been struggling with critical shortages of food and safe water, limited agricultural production and grave deficiencies in basic health care caused by drought and extreme poverty, especially in the south-east and the rural areas of the coastal and north-eastern provinces.
The UN World Food Programme's (WFP) drought emergency operation, initially launched in July 2004 after poor rains in eastern, southern and parts of northern Kenya left 2.3 million people in need, has been extended for a second time, this time for six months, until next February at a cost of $25 million.
UNICEF and its partners have identified areas that urgently require at least $4 million for non-food interventions critical to safeguard the lives of many vulnerable women and children for six months. The interventions include provision of vitamin A capsules, immunization against poliovirus and measles, provision of health services and the repair and rehabilitation of water sources.
The unusual pattern of the long rains this year, with most of the heavy rain falling in May instead of April, affected the harvests, particularly in the eastern and coastal lowlands.
For the 1.2 million people in need, WFP aims to provide a total of 78,941 tons of food between this month and next February. Some 775,000 people will be fed through general food distributions and 250,000 through food-for-work projects to improve community access to water and protect the environment.
The 52,112 pregnant and lactating mothers and children under five in the needy population will receive supplementary feeding and 200,000 children will get nutritional support in schools.
The good news was that some areas that had been severely affected by last year's drought had improved and the number of Kenyans in need of assistance dropped by 800,000, WFP Country Director Tesema Negash said. Pastoralists in some other districts, however, still faced inadequate water supplies and dry grasslands and the early migration of their livestock had reduced milk supplies.