Kenya + 2 more

Development and Peace help 45,000 people affected by drought in Kenya

TORONTO / April 7, 2006 - In response to a severe drought in Kenya and neighbouring countries, particularly Ethiopia and Somalia, DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE is providing $80,000 in emergency aid to Caritas Kenya to help communities affected by famine.

The $80,000 forms part of a $1.4 million, nine-month Caritas Internationalis project to distribute food and drought-resistant seeds to 45,000 people. About 30,000 people will receive direct food aid and 15,000 will be included in a supplementary feeding programme that will target children, pregnant women, and lactating women suffering severe malnutrition. Drought-resistant seeds will be given to 18,500 farmers to improve their food security over the medium term.

The project will also focus on people infected with HIV-AIDS who are too weak to reach food distribution centres.

Caritas Kenya runs development programmes in Kenya's 26 Catholic dioceses. Like DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE, it is a member of Caritas Internationalis, a network of 162 autonomous, Catholic, emergency relief, development and social service organizations working in 200 countries and territories.

Residents from the 10 dioceses most affected by famine have completed a preliminary needs assessment to determine the number of people who require immediate food assistance, emergency supplementary feeding, and seed distribution.

The aid will continue beyond the initial emergency phase to ensure that beneficiaries regain their strength and food security after the crisis. The feeding program consists primarily of staple foods, such as corn and beans.

This latest project forms part of a long-term DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE commitment to Kenya, an East African country racked by drought and food insecurity. DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE recently contributed $40,000 to an organization called Canadian Hearts and Hands for a four-month project to provide a sustainable source of drinking water to a local school and the surrounding community of 500 families.

The Canadian Catholic Organization for DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE is the official international development organization of the Catholic Church in Canada and the Canadian member of Caritas Internationalis. Last year, DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE allocated $11.8 million to 309 long-term development projects in the South and $6.6 million to 72 emergency relief projects.

CONTACTS:

Toronto: Jack Panozzo
416-922-1592, ext. 222
CEL 416-697-6505
jack.panozzo@devp.org

Montréal : Philippe Doucet
(514) 257-8711, poste 400
philippe.doucet@devp.org