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Cablegate: Post-Election Violence in Kenya - Humanitarian Update

R 111127Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 4169
USMISSION UN ROME
NSC WASHDC
CJTF HOA
CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

UNCLAS NAIROBI 000125

SIPDIS

AIDAC

USAID/DCHA FOR MHESS
DCHA/OFDA FOR KLUU, GGOTTLIEB, ACONVERY, KCHANNELL, MBBRENNAN
DCHA/FFP FOR JDWORKEN, SANTHONY, CMUTAMBA
AFR/EA FOR BDUNFORD
STATE FOR AF/E, AF/F AND PRM
USUN FOR TMALY
BRUSSELS FOR PBROWN
GENEVA FOR NKYLOH
USMISSION UN ROME FOR RNEWBERG

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PHUM PREL KE

SUBJECT: POST-ELECTION VIOLENCE IN KENYA - HUMANITARIAN UPDATE

REF: NAIROBI 00077

SUMMARY

1) The humanitarian situation remains critical in the flashpoint
areas of Rift Valley, Western, and Nyanza provinces, as well as in
slum areas of Nairobi, following election-related violence in recent
days (REFTEL). Despite reports of continued small-scale rioting on
January 8 and 9, UN and relief agencies note overall improvement in
security and access, allowing increased transport of fuel,
commercial goods, and relief commodities. Humanitarian
organizations are conducting initial assessments throughout affected
areas, identifying priority needs, and establishing coordination
mechanisms. A USG team departed Nairobi on January 10 to survey the
humanitarian situation and determine emergency response priorities.
End summary.

CURRENT SITUATION

2) Estimates of the number and locations of internally displaced
persons (IDPs) continue to fluctuate based on access and available
information, as well as continued population movements. As of
January 9, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian
Affairs (OCHA) estimated that the violence has displaced
approximately 255,000 people, primarily in Rift Valley, Western, and
Nyanza provinces, as well as Nairobi. The Government of Kenya (GoK)
is relocating IDPs currently sheltered at police stations, churches,
and schools to other public areas to allow routine security,
religious, and educational activities to resume, and to decrease the
number of scattered settlements so that aid agencies can better
provide assistance and ensure protection.

3) As of January 10, UN agencies report improved access along major
road networks, leading to increased commercial and humanitarian
transport and alleviating previously-reported fuel shortages within
Kenya and bordering countries. The Kenyan military and police are
facilitating access to affected areas by providing escorts and
clearing roadblocks. Officials at Mombasa port are working to clear
the backlog of accumulated shipments from the past two weeks. In
addition, the UN World Food Program (WFP) has deployed a helicopter
from its southern Sudan program to aid emergency operations in Kenya
for at least 10-14 days and is reviewing the need for additional
logistics support.

4) It remains difficult to assess priority needs as the initial
round of assessments is still ongoing. In general, relief staff in
affected areas indicate that vulnerable and displaced populations
require food, emergency relief supplies, shelter material, and
water, sanitation, and health services. UN planning figures
estimate that approximately 250,000 people will require assistance
for at least three months. The UN Resident Coordinator for Kenya
has asked UN agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to
coordinate assessments, and OCHA is working to identify common
assessment tools for each sector cluster.

HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE

5) The GoK's Ministry of State for Special Programmes is
coordinating response activities with other government ministries,
UN agencies, the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) and other NGOs. As
the food and nutrition sector cluster lead and the primary responder
for emergency food aid, WFP is working closely with KRCS to conduct
needs assessments and distribute WFP and GoK-provided food relief.
WFP notes that food stocks currently being re-directed to meet
emergency food needs of newly displaced populations will need to be
restocked quickly in order to resume planned operations, such as
school feeding programs scheduled for the week of January 14.
6) As of January 9, WFP had provided 259 metric tons (MT) of food
aid to 45,600 beneficiaries, and KRCS had distributed 529 MT of food
in two-week rations to 70,692 beneficiaries. On January 10, WFP
reported dividing one-week rations intended for 500 families in
Nairobi into smaller portions in response to additional
beneficiaries at distribution points.

7) The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has
pledged to provide basic household commodities, including blankets,
mats, mosquito nets, kitchen sets, soap, and plastic sheeting for up
to 100,000 people displaced by the current crisis. On January 9,
UNHCR and KRCS completed an initial distribution of basic household
commodities to some 200 displaced families within Nairobi, and are
preparing approximately 10,000 family kits for IDPs in Rift Valley
Province. UNHCR is considering options to procure additional
supplies via local purchase or from emergency stockpiles in Dubai
and Tanzania.

8) Relief agencies report that sanitation is a major challenge as
most settlement areas do not have sufficient facilities. USAID
field staff note that haphazard assessments and coordination gaps
are hampering relief efforts. The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) is
slated to lead future assessments via staff based in Nakuru,
Eldoret, and Kisumu, following requests from the GoK Ministry of
Water. Action Against Hunger is preparing to begin construction of
20 permanent latrines at Jamhuri Park, where approximately 2,700
IDPs are settling.

9) As cluster lead for child protection, UNHCR is coordinating
upcoming assessments on issues related to separated and lost
children, safe play and sleeping areas, access to schools, and
availability of psycho-social counseling and recovery activities.
UNICEF has 405 emergency educational kits and 435 recreational kits,
sufficient for education programs for 22,000 children.

10) The GoK Ministry of Health will serve as the health cluster
lead. At a January 9 coordination meeting, the MOH proposed an USD
18.8 million budget covering activities for 300,000 IDPs for two
months, including programs in 42 camps and 28 hospitals. The GoK
plans to contribute USD 8.6 million, leaving a gap of USD 10.2
million.

USG RESPONSE

11) On January 8, Ambassador Ranneberger pledged USD 5 million in
USG humanitarian funding for persons displaced and otherwise
affected by the ongoing emergency. To date, the US Government
through USAID has provided an immediate USD 200,000 to KRCS for the
purchase and distribution of emergency relief supplies, including
blankets and shelter material, for communities displaced by the
violence. USAID is also airlifting 350 rolls of plastic sheeting,
valued at approximately USD 168,000 including transport, to Eldoret
on January 13. The plastic sheeting supplements existing shelter
resources in the country, and will benefit at least 2,800 families.
The remaining USD 4.6 million will address health, food security,
additional shelter, and water, sanitation, and hygiene needs.

12) On January 10, USAID staff began an eight-day humanitarian
assessment of most-affected areas, including Nakuru, Molo, Eldoret,
Kitale, Kakamega, Kisumu, Kisii, and Kericho towns to evaluate
humanitarian conditions and determine priority needs for additional
programming.

RANNEBERGER

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