by Christine Lagat
NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- UN
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday that the
international community will rally behind Kenya’s efforts to
tackle biting drought and regional conflicts.
at a joint press conference in Nairobi with his host President
Uhuru Kenyatta, Guterres noted that Kenya required external
support to help deal with the current drought that has affected
an estimated 3 million people.
"I hope the international community will match Kenya’s
generosity in this time it is facing prolonged drought," he told
journalists while reaffirming the UN’s commitment to helping
Kenya achieve sustainable development, peace and security.
Guterres’ first visit to Kenya as the UN Secretary General
came against a backdrop of a devastating drought in the northern
parts of the country that has fueled inter-tribal hostilities.
President Kenyatta on Feb.10 declared drought a national
disaster and appealed to the international community to speed up
emergency relief aid. In response, the UN announced it will lend
emergency support to communities affected by drought.
Guterres said the United Nations in solidarity with Kenya as
the east African nation grapples with climate induced food
crises and the spillover of regional conflicts.
"We appreciate the relationship between Kenya and the UN to
enable the country achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs),"
said the UN boss, adding that Kenya has been a strategic partner
in efforts to stabilize regional hotspots like Somalia, South
Sudan, Burundi and eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
On his part, Kenyatta welcomed UN’s support toward a national
drought emergency strategy launched early this year to enhance
communities’ resilience in the face of food and water scarcity.
At the same time, the Kenyan leader said a multilateral
approach is key to solving regional conflicts and the attendant
UN chief visits Kenyan
slum to highlight plight of urban poor
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres visited a
Kenyan slum Wednesday to underscore the need to focus on the UN
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the fight against
poverty, which is punctuated by more women living in poor and
Guterres visited the Nairobi slum of Mathare, one of the
biggest informal settlements, where he met with the youth, women
leaders and representatives of drought-stricken families from
the Rift Valley, to discuss how authorities could use policies
to deal with drought.
Guterres was accompanied by UN Settlement Agency (UN-Habitat)
Executive Director Joan Clos and the UN-Habitat’s Chief of Youth
and Livelihoods, Doug Ragan, to a youth centre in the slum.
Clos said during the visit, which also coincided with the
International Women’s Day, the urban centres and cities were
emerging spaces for youth innovation, where women were the main
"As representatives of change, they are great assets in our
efforts towards gender equality and women’s empowerment," Clos
Guterres met women aspirants vying for political posts during
the forthcoming presidential and parliamentary elections in
Kenya and called for the empowerment of women and girls.
The UN chief said access to credit would empower women and
During the visit, women representatives from Laikipia, one
region in Kenya, affected by the ongoing drought in Kenya,
called for the protection of women, including those running for
"We are here to discuss the challenges facing women.
"Women should not assume that the women’s vote could be taken
for granted," said Esther Mwaura-Muiru, of Grassroots Kenya, an
organization that represents women aspirants.
Guterres met with members of an all-girl team, the Mathare Up
for Slum Dwellers Team, to emphasize his agenda against urban
poverty, UN officials said.
The team represented the SDG 11 agenda, which UN Habitat
officials say is crucial to its ongoing campaign for youth and
"The crisis in Laikipia has to do with climate change but the
government is not doing much.
"They have done too little to assist the communities in
Laikipia North, which is a semi-desert.
"We want our region classified as arid because it has no
difference with Wajir," said John ole Monto, a local community
UN agencies insist efforts to improve the status of women are
currently underway, including through its newly adopted New
Urban Agenda, which is an opportunity to empower women.
"It is a unique tool which recognizes urban economic
empowerment of women.
"It is a tool which recognizes urbanization as an endogenous
source of development and prosperity," Clos said.
MARSABIT, (Xinhua) --
A boy waits to collect water in Marsabit, one of the
most severe drought-hit regions in Kenya, on March 5,
2017. The UN relief chief on Saturday urged international
support for the estimated 2.7 million people in parts of
Kenya who urgently need food and water following the onset
of a severe drought.
XINHUA PHOTO: PAN SIWEI
UN chief due in Kenya amid
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is due in
Nairobi on Sunday for a two-day visit to discuss a range of
regional issues amid looming famine in the region.
A statement from
Guterres spokesman office said while in Kenya, the world’s top
diplomat will meet with senior Kenyan government officials amid
severe drought which has left more than 3 million Kenyans facing
acute food shortage.
“While in Kenya, the
Secretary-General will meet with senior leadership of the Kenyan
Government to discuss a range of regional issues,” the statement
said on Sunday morning.
Gutteres who took
the UN helm in January will also participate in a number of
events in the Kenyan capital to mark International Women’s Day.
“Prior to returning
to New York, he will visit the UN Headquarters in Gigiri. We
expect the Secretary-General to be back in New York on
Thursday,” the statement said.
UN calls for measures to save lives in