Kenya facing food shortage because of rising prices – UN aid officials
Worries over a possible food shortage in Kenya – where tensions are still running high despite the recent announcement of a new power-sharing Government – are on the rise due to surging food prices worldwide, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said today.
Further complicating the situation in the East African nation is the fungi that have reportedly destroyed 5,600 hectares of rice in Central Province, where between 10 and 20 percent of the country’s annual production is harvested.
Even during good years, Kenya is a net importer of rice, and this fungi problem results in the need for an even greater amount of imported rice to feed its people.
Rice prices have soared 75 per cent globally in the past two months, while the cost of wheat has risen a whopping 120 per cent in the last year, contributing to a food crisis worldwide.
The resulting food insecurity in Kenya has led to an escalation of tensions, with four internally displaced persons (IDPs) having been killed in the Rift Valley while attempting to make their way back to their farms.
Earlier this week, the East African nation’s major parties agreed on a grand coalition Government following months of post-election violence in which 1,000 people were killed and more than 300,000 others forced to flee their homes.
Last week, OCHA launched a revised appeal for $189 million for Kenya.