Unicef Working To Help Deliver Aid To Drought Stricken Kenya
Last year a severe drought began which has affected arid and semi-arid regions of Kenya and potentially threatens millions of people. Unicef is providing aid to the Kenyan Government through the implementation of an emergency response effort that is saving the lives of households affected by the lack of rain and shortage of food. The agency is also strengthening its coordination activities with the government and monitoring the most vulnerable groups.
2.7 million people affected
The most recent data measured at the end of February suggests that 2.7 million people require water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) assistance. 1.1. million children are facing food insecurity whilst over 100,000 children are severely malnourished and in need of treatment. The drought has also forced 174,000 children to leave school.
National disaster declared
The Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has declared the drought a national disaster and has requested international support. Unicef is working with a number of other aid agencies to provide assistance and is the sector lead for nutrition, child protection, education and WASH. The agency is also expanding its sectoral coordination. Werner Schultink Unicef’s representative in Kenya says the agency should not only strive to alleviate the suffering but also help families become more resilient as well as improve the local government’s capacity to deal with future droughts and other natural disasters.
Through its partnership with other agencies and stakeholders, Unicef is delivering aid to children in 23 arid and semi-arid land counties. By January 2017 the agency had delivered 12,000 cartons of essential Ready to Use Therapeutic Foods for the treatment of 12,000 severely- malnourished children. Aside from the ability to enable people to access water, Unicef is working with county governments throughout Kenya to rehabilitate broken borewells and provide water purification commodities such as soap. The aid agency is committed to reaching all children and their families that have been affected by the drought and is scaling up its contribution to the Government led response.
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