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Appeal to assist northern Kenya hard hit by drought

JOHANNESBURG, September 8 – The United Nations and its humanitarian partners in Kenya have appealed for $106 million to scale-up their response to the most urgent needs resulting from the effects of the drought in northern Kenya.

“We, as the UN family and the humanitarian community, stand with the Government and people of Kenya to address the devastating effects of the drought on some of the country’s most vulnerable communities,” said Siddharth Chatterjee, UN Resident Coordinator in Kenya, urging donors to pledge additional resources to support relief efforts in the critical months ahead.

A news release from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that the previous appeal for Kenya, launched in March 2017, had only been 43 percent funded.

The revised appeal, which covers September to December 2017, complements the government’s 13-month extended response plan.

However, the third phase of the government’s response is likely to be delayed due to political developments, making the revised appeal even more critical.

“The Government of Kenya is doing its part with its resources stretched to breaking point. So should we,” said Chatterjee.

An estimated 5.6 million people have been affected by the drought, including 3.4 million people lacking enough food.

Of them, 2.6 million people face severe food insecurity, including 500,000 experiencing “emergency” levels of food insecurity.

A total of 369,277 children in the arid and semi-arid counties of Kenya now require urgent treatment for acute malnutrition, and, in the worst-affected counties, like Turkana South, the acute malnutrition rate is as high as 37 percent, more than twice the emergency threshold of 15 percent.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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