Further £6 million for food crisis in Kenya

Kenya is set to receive a further £6 million in assistance from the UK in response to the country’s ongoing food crisis.

The extra support, which was announced today by Hilary Benn, the UK’s Secretary of State for International Development , will be used over the next six months to provide emergency food and health support to people suffering from severe malnutrition in Kenya, particularly in the worst affected northern and eastern pastoral and agricultural areas.

The funding, which brings the total UK contribution to the food crisis to £30.2m since June 2004, includes £4m to be made available immediately to non-governmental organisations working in the country. A further £2m will be allocated on the basis of the results of an urgent review being undertaken by the Government of Kenya, the UN and NGOs.

International Development Secretary, Hilary Benn said:

“The new funding we’re announcing today will help provide food and emergency healthcare to the areas that desperately need it. Children, the elderly and pregnant women are the most vulnerable and that’s why I’m urging others in the international community and the Government of Kenya to act quickly to help save the lives of those at risk.”

Kenya has experienced regular drought-related humanitarian crises and these are often most intense in northern and eastern lowland areas. The long rains between April and June did not fail this year, and have improved prospects in some areas, but recent

surveys by UNICEF show that many children remain acutely malnourished and are not receiving assistance.

Hilary Benn added:

“Our contribution today aims to save lives by boosting health and nutrition coverage in the most affected areas, but we must also look beyond the immediate problems and tackle the underlying causes of hunger in Kenya.

“Each drought increases the number of people facing hunger over the long-term because many lose or are forced to sell the assets they need. That’s why DFID is working with the Kenyan government to improve infrastructure and investment in the most vulnerable areas as well as supporting the development of a safety-net programme for the most needy.”

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Name: Gemma Haxby