UNITED NATIONS New
York (Xinhua) -- The United Nations
and its humanitarian partners on Thursday appealed for 166
million U.S. dollars to aid Kenyan pastoralists and farmers
whose livestock and crops are suffering amid what the Kenyan
government declared a "national drought disaster," a UN
spokesman told reporters here.
"Today in Nairobi, the
UN family along with the government of Kenya launched a Flash
Appeal of 166 million U.S. dollars to address the devastating
consequences of drought on pastoralist and agro-pastoralist
communities in the North of the African country, UN spokesman
Stephane Dujarric said at a daily news briefing here.
Below average rainfall in 2016 has caused severe dryness in
the country’s arid and semi-arid counties, doubling the number
of severely food insecure Kenyans to 2.6 million, he said.
"The Flash Appeal complements the government’s ongoing
nine-month response plan," Dujarric said.
"With these funds, humanitarian actors will provide
life-saving food, health, water and sanitation services to 2.6
million vulnerable Kenyans over the next ten months," said
Siddharth Chatterjee, UN resident coordinator in Kenya.
Half of the country is affected by the drought brought on by
a third consecutive year of unreliable rains.
Below average rains are "causing thirst and hunger,
decimating livestock, destroying livelihoods, spreading disease,
and causing large movements of people," according to the UN
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
The latest flash appeal is a complement to Kenya’s ongoing
nine-month response plan which faces a funding gap of 108
million U.S. dollars, OCHA said.
Earlier this month, Stephen O’Brien, the UN
under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and the head of
OCHA, visited Kenya to highlight the risk of famine facing
people there, as well as in Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen.
Reporting his observations to the UN Security Council upon
his return, O’Brien, who is also the UN emergency relief
coordinator, said the international community is "facing the
largest humanitarian crisis since the creation of the UN."
UN launches funding appeal
to address Kenyan drought
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The United Nations in Kenya on Thursday launched
a 166 million-U.S. dollars urgent appeal to address the
country’s biting drought that has affected an estimated 2.7
United Nations Resident Coordinator in Kenya Siddharth
Chatterjee told a media briefing in Nairobi that the primary
purpose of the appeal is to ensure that no Kenyan dies as a
result of food or water scarcity.
"The appeal will also help to complement government efforts
that started last year to deal with the drought," Chatterjee
Failed rains in the last two seasons are to blame for severe
drought in 23 Kenyan counties.
The funds raised from the appeal will be used by humanitarian
actors to provide life-saving food, health, water and sanitation
services to vulnerable people over the next ten months.
Chatterjee said the appeal was necessary as the drought has
increased in severity over the past several months.
"In Novemver in 2016, 1.3 million people were affected by the
drought but the figure has since increased to 2.7 million people
in the Arid and Semi Arid areas (ASAL)," he said.
According to the UN official, the drought has resulted in
malnutrition rates in the affected areas going up and has also
led to a large number of children dropping out of school due to
lack of access to food and water.
On Feb. 10, Kenya declared the drought a national disaster in
order to galvanize national and international support to deal
with the drought.
Chatterjee said that the UN system will assist Kenya to make
a quick recovery from the current drought and also ensure that
the East African nation does not experience a similar situation
in the future.
African Union calls for
solidarity with drought-hit African countries
ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) --
The African Union (AU) on Thursday called for
greater solidarity with African countries affected by the
ongoing drought and famine.
Moussa Faki Mahamat, the newly elected chairperson of the AU
Commission, is deeply concerned by the humanitarian situation in
parts of Africa affected by drought and famine, which is the
most severe food security emergency in the world today, said a
statement from the pan-African bloc.
Close to 12 million people in South Sudan, Somalia and
northeast Nigeria are in dire need of emergency food assistance,
noted the statement.
Famine has been declared in parts of South Sudan, and this
situation has led to major displacements into neighboring
countries, it said.
The statement added that the situation in the countries is
compounded by insecurity and conflict.
The chairperson has expressed AU’s profound appreciation to
its member states that have opened their borders and provided
assistance to those in need.
Mahamat has urged all AU member states to contribute
financial and technical support to alleviate the suffering of
the affected populations.
He also appealed to AU partners and international
humanitarian organizations to provide the much-needed financial
and logistical support to assist the affected countries to avert
Number of drought-related
deaths on rise in Somalia: United Nations
UNITED NATIONS New York (Xinhua) --
More than 11,000 acute watery
diarrhoea or cholera cases and 268 drought-related deaths have
been reported since January in Somalia, Stephane Dujarric,
Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said at
the daily news briefing Thursday.
On Wednesday, the Federal Government launched its first-ever
vaccination campaign in Somalia, with support from the World
Health Organization (WHO), targeting more than 450,000 at-risk
people, said Dujarric.
"The UN and our partners have strategic, targeted plans and
teams on the ground; and we are scaling up our response to avert
a possible famine," he said.
Some 6.2 million people, more than half of Somalia’s
population, are in need of lifesaving humanitarian assistance,