UN Appeals For $97 Mn To Help Get Food To Kenya
UN APPEALS FOR $97 MILLION TO HELP GET FOOD TO KENYA
New York, Aug 10 2004 3:00PM
The United Nations today appealed for $97 million to help get food and basic supplies to Kenya, which is suffering from an agricultural crisis and where 2.3 million people need emergency assistance.
The appeal, launched in coordination with the Kenyan Government and international and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), covers the next six months through February 2005 and focuses on six key areas: food, health and nutrition, water and sanitation, education, agriculture and livestock, and coordination and support services.
Kenya is suffering a massive crop failure due to irregular rainfall patterns and contamination of grain reserves by aflatoxin, a toxin created by grain mould, prompting President Mwai Kibaki last month to declare a state of emergency. Food production in five of the country's seven provinces will account for only roughly 40 per cent of what is needed this year. Of the 2.3 million people in need of emergency relief, 1.8 million require general food distribution and 500,000 school children take part in the school feeding programme. The total amount of food needed for the next six months is about 166,000 tons.
In addition to distributing food to the most severely affected areas, the UN appeal seeks to distribute seeds to areas with high crop loss, prevent measles through a massive vaccination campaign, increase efforts in ongoing nutritional programmes, rehabilitate water sources, retain children in school through school feeding programmes and provide curative measures for livestock.
UN agencies currently working with the Government to improve the situation are the World Food Programme (WFP), the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP).
For its part, FAO asked for $3.6 million to cover four emergency farming projects to help rural families threatened by hunger. "With the short-season rains coming in October, vulnerable households do not have the capacity to assure their future well-being without assistance. FAO sees the need for urgent intervention to preserve and rebuild the livelihoods of affected people and to reduce the causes of food insecurity," said Bruce Isaacson, the agency's representative in Kenya.