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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Relief agencies need US 106 million dollars
to ease drought in northern Kenya

By Ben Ochieng NAIROBI,  (Xinhua) -- Humanitarian partners in Kenya on Thursday appealed for 106 million U.S. dollars to scale up their response to help lessen the dire effects of drought in northern Kenya.

The UN Resident Coordinator in Kenya Siddharth Chatterjee said the UN family and the humanitarian community stand with Kenyans to address the devastating effects of the drought on some of the country’s most vulnerable communities.

“Today, we appeal to the international community to step up its support to Kenya by pledging additional resources to bolster our relief efforts in the critical months ahead. The previous Flash Appeal for Kenya launched in March has been only 43 percent funded,” Chatterjee said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

There are an estimated 5.6 million people in the country who are affected as a result of the drought, including 3.4 million people who are food insecure.

Of particular concern are the 2.6 million people now facing severe food insecurity, including 500,000 who are experiencing ‘emergency’ levels of food insecurity, according to the Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) system.

According to the UN, over 300,000 children in the arid and semi-arid regions of Kenya now require urgent treatment for acute malnutrition, and in the worst-affected areas global acute malnutrition (GAM) rates are more than twice the emergency threshold of 15 percent.

“Since the launch of the original Kenya Flash Appeal in March, the food insecurity and malnutrition has escalated due to recurrent drought. Water shortage and disease outbreak have worsened the impact on those already facing hunger and malnutrition, and livelihoods have been further compromised by an infestation of fall army worm,” Chaterjee said.

The Revised Flash Appeal, which covers September to December complements Nairobi’s 13 month extended response plan.

Through the appeal, humanitarian partners aim to respond to the most life-threatening needs of 1.9 million people, prioritizing response in 11 regions that face the highest levels of malnutrition and food insecurity.

Since November 2016, the government has allocated 124.3 million dollars through the first and second phases of its response plan.

However, the third phase of the government’s response is likely to be delayed due to political developments, making the response planned by humanitarian partners through the Flash Appeal all the more critical.

             

 

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