NAIROBI (Jan. 16) XINHUA - Despite
the November-December rains in parts of Kenya, the famine situation remains
grave in the country, experts have warned in a report.
The report, Kenya Vulnerability Update, released recently by the U.S. Agency for International Development, says the short rains have raised hope though subsequent maize production will still fall below the normal level.
It is expected that 315,000 tons of maize will be harvested compared to the normal output of 410,000 tons, the report says, adding that even with imports from Uganda and Tanzania, the 1999 July to 2000 June season maize deficit is 400,000 tons.
The World Food Program, the U.N. famine response agency, is seeking approval to feed over 1.7 million people in Kenya's 30 districts which are beneficiaries of the School Feeding Program.
It is learned that the five-month program, coordinated by the Kenyan government, will begin next month.
At present, a number of organizations and non-governmental relief agencies are distributing food to starving families in northern Kenya, especially in Turkana District.
Copyright (c) 2000 Comtex Scientific
Received by NewsEdge Insight: 01/16/2000 03:30:20