Kenya

U.S. C-130 Hercules aircrafts deliver aid for flood victims in Kenya

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Nairobi-- Two U.S. C-130 Hercules aircraft flew their first mission yesterday from Mombasa to assist the United Nations World Food Programme in its Kenya flood emergency operation.

WFP welcomed the U.S. contribution of planes which airdropped 16 tons of maize to El-Wak in northeastern Kenya, followed by a second airlift of another 16 tons of food to Wajir. This 32 tons of food is enough to give 4,600 people a half ration for one month. The two aircraft will be based in Mombasa and will make daily flights into areas in northeastern Kenya as well as the Dadaab refugee camps.

The newly-donated U.S. aircraft will supplement WFP's existing fleet of air transport for the Kenyan flood operation comprising a C-130 Hercules, a Buffalo aircraft, and one helicopter. These, plus four boats, are being funded by ECHO, the U.S., U.K., Japan, Netherlands, Denmark and Norway. The ECHO donation also includes a contribution of 3,000 tons of maize.

Earlier today, WFP received confirmation of a contribution by Germany of US$218,579 to support air operations for the flood emergency.

The U.S. contribution of aircraft is in addition to a donation of 2,300 tons of cereals to WFP's Kenya flood emergency operation. This will assist a total of 515,000 people still cut off by floods in remote areas of Kenya.

"With this increase in air power, WFP can continue its operation to move large quantities of food to the most vulnerable people," said Russ Ulrey, WFP Regional Logistics Officer. "Thousands of families are still stranded by the floods and are totally dependent upon food aid," he said.

In early February WFP appealed for funds to assist the 390,000 flood victims in the seven worst hit areas in northeastern Kenya and the 125,000 refugees in the Dadaab camps. The agency had warned that unless donors provided new funding it would have to halt flood relief air operations in Kenya.

WFP has subsequently received US$3.3 million in contributions for the air operations leaving a shortfall of US$2.2 million for both the Kenyan flood victims and Dadaab refugees.

Since December 10, WFP has delivered 6,500 tons of food by air to flood victims and refugees in northeastern Kenya .

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For further information, please contact;

Brenda Barton
Regional Information Officer, WFP Kenya
Tel. 254-2 622594/622704 (office)
583549/732392 (home)

Lindsey Davies
Information Officer, WFP Kenya
Tel. 254-2 622336 (office)
582162 (home)