Food aid worth 1.3 billion shillings (1 US dollar = 74 shs) was promised by a visiting US government official, Hugh Palmer, who noted that about 2.7 million Kenyans in seven districts faced starvation, especially in the arid northern region.
Palmer, on a five-nation tour of the Horn of Africa to assess the drought situation, Friday told Kenyan head of Public Service, Richard Leakey, that he was encouraged by the recent announcement by Kenyan authorities that the government would now leave food aid distribution to NGO and foreign donors.
"Government involvement is usually motivated by politics, where everybody is given as everyone votes," he said.
Palmer announced that a food consignment will arrive in Kenya in May, and will be channelled through NGOs.
He added that short term funding to organisations will be linked to long term development projects for sustainability.
The US government, he said, was trying to avoid "humanitarian imperialism" where foreigners dictated to locals what they need.
Palmer appealed to the European Union, Japan and other donor countries to join the US in helping alleviate famine in the Horn, more so in Ethiopia, which has been gripped by a devastating famine.
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