Kenya: About 2.5 million need emergency food aid, Red Cross says

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
NAIROBI, 26 December (IRIN) - Some 2.5 million people in Kenya require emergency food aid and other non-food interventions following a prolonged dry spell, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has said.

"Reports indicate that at least two people have died from starvation in El Wak Division of Mandera District [northeastern Kenya] and there is a high level of malnutrition among children and mothers," the Federation said on Friday.

It said the situation was "particularly alarming" in the northern districts of Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, Marsabit and Moyale.

"Livestock in many parts of the affected districts are reportedly in poor condition," it added. "The water situation has also deteriorated with most water pans and dams drying up and boreholes experiencing frequent breakdowns due to overuse."

The Federation said there was an urgent need to provide emergency food and water for domestic and livestock use to the affected populations.

In a 24 December appeal Kenya's president, Mwai Kibaki, said despite the government providing an additional budget of 2.9 billion shillings (US $40.1 million) to meet meet the requirements partly, there remained a resource gap of some 8.2 billion shillings ($113.5 million).

"To meet this gap, I am therefore appealing to the Kenyan public and development partners to come forward and make a contribution to this noble cause," he said.

Kibaki added that there were sufficient food stocks in the country, but resources would be required to buy and distribute the food to the affected areas.

"The whole exercise will be done in close partnership with the government, the development agencies and the non-governmental organisations," he said.


Principal donors: IRIN is generously supported by Australia, Canada, Denmark, ECHO, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. For more information, go to:

[This item comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian news and information service, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. All IRIN material may be reposted or reprinted free-of-charge; refer to the copyright page (Http:// ) for conditions of use. IRIN is a project of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.]