by Chris Mgidu NAIROBI, March 3
(Xinhua) -- More than one million children are
affected by severe drought in Kenya, the UN International Children’s Emergency
Fund (UNICEF) said Friday.
UNICEF said more than 100,000 children under
5 are in need of treatment for severe malnutrition while another 174,000
children are out of school as a direct result of the drought.
"Our efforts should not only alleviate the current suffering brought about by
this emergency, but should also aim to build the resilience of families and the
capacity of local governments to deal with future droughts and other
calamities," UNICEF Representative in Kenya Werner Schultink said in a
The UN children’s agency is working with the government and partners to
respond to the drought and save lives after the onset of a severe drought in
2016 has hit arid and semi-arid regions in Kenya, affecting over 3 million
The hardest-hit counties include Baringo, Garissa, Isiolo, Mandera, Marsabit,
Samburu, Tana River, Turkana, and Wajir.
The latest figures as of the end of February show that 2.7 million people are
in need of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) assistance and 1.1 million
children are food insecure.
UNICEF said it was scaling-up sectoral coordination and enhancing technical
and financial support and life-saving supplies to the government and
"UNICEF is committed to reaching all affected children and their families by
supporting the scaling-up of government-led response mechanisms to counter the
diverse and devastating effects of the ongoing drought in Kenya," it said.
By January, UNICEF said it had dispatched 12,000 cartons of essential
ready-to-use therapeutic food for the treatment of 12,000 severely-malnourished