Irish Red Cross pledges €20,000 aid and sends experienced coordinator to Kenya

The Chairman of the Irish Red Cross Mr. David Andrews has announced that the Irish Red Cross have pledged an initial €20,000 to the Red Cross in Kenya. He hopes that this donation will help to provide emergency relief supplies to thousands of injured and displaced people throughout the affected regions of Kenya since the clashes started on Sunday.

John Roche, Irish Red Cross Delegate and Operations Coordinator with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) will also be arriving in Nairobi this evening to provide overall co-ordination and assistance to the IFRC on the ground in Kenya.

According to the Kenya Red Cross, over 100,000 people have been affected or displaced countrywide, including an estimated 10,000 people in Busia, 20,000 in Burnt Forest, 30,000 in Eldoret, 1,980 in Kibera-Nairobi and 720 in Bungoma since the violence erupted last Sunday.

Over 300 people have been reported dead and over 1,000 people confirmed injured countrywide. The wounded sustained panga (machetti) cuts, gunshot wounds and burns, and received emergency First Aid from Kenya Red Cross personnel before they were rushed to hospital for treatment and later discharged.

"I hope that this donation from the Irish Red Cross will enable the Red Cross in Kenya to provide much-needed medical help, First Aid and shelter, and to provide sufficient humanitarian assistance to those affected in their time of need" David Andrews said.

As tension remains high, over 1,000 refugees have fled to Uganda and there is increased displacement of people into police stations, churches, schools and market centres. There is a huge traffic snarl up from Nakuru town to Nyanza and to Rift Valley and other key towns, which has made it extremely difficult for relief assistance from Kenya Red Cross to access the affected communities. Essential supplies and key markets have also been affected.

However, Because of the extensive Red Cross volunteer network in virtually every town and community in Kenya; Red Cross officials, volunteers and staff are already on the ground in many affected areas and are continuing to provide essential humanitarian assistance.

A helicopter assessment mission by Kenya Red Cross in the Burnt Forest and Eldoret found that the affected people needed urgent humanitarian aid in the form of food and non-food items.

The Kenya Red Cross had put in place an election contingency plan prior to the elections, with over 500 trained staff and volunteers on high alert throughout the country and over 40 land cruisers and 50 trucks on standby.

Kenya Red Cross personnel have assisted the affected people in Kibera, Nairobi, Kisumu, Migori, Nyando, Siaya, Eldoret, Butere-Mumias, Busia, Kakamega, Sirisia, Lugari, Meru and Mombasa-Likoni, Kisauni, Changamwe. Kenya Red Cross is also providing emergency First Aid and ambulance services to injured people. 18,000 emergency family packs have been put on standby to be used where there is need.

Kenya Red Cross will conduct emergency distribution of relief items once the road network is accessible and assessments are ongoing countrywide to determine the exact extent of the humanitarian crisis.