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100,000 Kenyans need emergency aid after post-electoral violence – UN

100,000 Kenyans need emergency aid after post-electoral violence – UN

The United Nations is helping to provide humanitarian aid to at least 100,000 Kenyans estimated to require immediate assistance following the deadly outbursts of post-electoral violence that has reportedly claimed more than 300 lives, including dozens burned to death inside a church.

“The United Nations humanitarian agencies in Kenya are gearing up to do everything necessary to help displaced and needy Kenyans at this difficult time,” Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes said today.

“Meanwhile, all political leaders in Kenya have a responsibility to protect the lives and livelihoods of innocent people, regardless of their racial, religious or ethnic origin, and ensure that relief can safely reach those in need,” he added, deploring the reported “troubling” increase in sexual and gender-based violence.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) is providing enough legumes and oil to the Kenyan Red Cross Society (KRCS) for 100,000 people for one month, initially in the Rift Valley. This will complement 1,800 metric tonnes of cereal that the Government has made available, an amount which can feed 120,000 people for one month.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has made clear that it is ready to assist up to 85,000 people with shelter and non-food items, indicating that 13,000 family kits, comprised of blankets, tarpaulins, cooking sets, soap, and jerry cans, are locally pre-positioned and 2,000 family kits are in the pipeline.

KRCS reported yesterday that roughly 70,000-80,000 people have been displaced by the unrest in the northern Rift Valley. Many people elsewhere in the country, including some 10,000 people in Kibera, a slum area of Nairobi, have been forced to flee their homes and seek refuge in safer areas. Unconfirmed reports talk of hundreds of refugees arriving in Uganda in recent days.

A joint Government-UN mission is scheduled to visit the area today to determine the numbers of arrivals and their needs, if any.

“Thousands of people are displaced and at risk. Supplies of food, water, fuel, essential medicines are acutely low in many densely populated areas,” said Anna Tibaijuka, Director General of the UN Office in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital.

“Transport corridors from the Port of Mombasa through Kenya are restricted, causing supply chain disruption to our humanitarian and peacekeeping operations in the region, for example for Southern Sudan, Uganda and parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo,” she added.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has already appealed twice this week for an end to the violence that erupted after the announcement of election results last week.

Ms. Tibaijuka said many shops and markets remained closed and in some areas had been destroyed, and she too cited disturbing reports of victimization of vulnerable groups including sexual abuse of and assault on women and children.