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Kiwis asked to dig deep for the children of Kenya

16 February 2006

Kiwis asked to dig deep for the children of Kenya

ChildFund launches nationwide emergency appeal -

International children's charity, ChildFund, is warning that the drought and famine in Kenya is worsening by the day and that emergency food supplies are predicted to be totally depleted by the end of this month. ChildFund New Zealand has today launched a nationwide emergency appeal in an effort to help the more than 40,000 children at risk of dying from dehydration and lack of food.

National Director of ChildFund New Zealand, Paul Brown, says, "We need to act now. The Kenyan Government has declared a national emergency as 4 million Kenyans face death by starvation. The World Food Program is warning that without new donations it will run out of food by the end of February."

Paul Brown says, "It's crucial that Kiwis who want to make a difference to the children of Kenya act today. Donations of money are urgently needed to save their lives. If you are intending to make a donation, please do it now. Any delay may mean your contribution is too late for many of Kenya's children."

Kenya has suffered three years of poor rains, leading to desperate water and food shortages. The number of people affected by the famine has almost doubled in the past two months alone. The next six months will be critical as no rain is expected to fall during the dry season.

Paul Brown says, "ChildFund workers are already on the ground helping with the emergency supplementary feeding programmes. Donations from caring New Zealanders will enable ChildFund to immediately provide more supplementary feeding for young children, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and vulnerable adults. The other critical need is drinking water. With the help of new donations ChildFund will rehabilitate, construct and maintain water sources for several of the hardest hit districts."

ChildFund is committed to delivering much more than just temporary aid. Its relief work is followed up by long term sustainable development of the communities involved to help prevent similar emergency situations in future. Paul Brown says, "We get involved in drilling boreholes, extending water pipelines, purchasing livestock, seed distribution and much more. Our Kenyan emergency appeal is an opportunity for Kiwis to make a real long-term difference to these communities."

New Zealanders can make an immediate donation to ChildFund by calling 0800 223 111 or by visiting www.childfund.org.nz.

ENDS

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