Pastoralists and their cattle. Photo: IRIN/Gwenn Dubourthoumieu (file)
By ABDULHAKIM SHERMAN
The United Nations and its humanitarian partners today appealed for $166 million to aid Kenyan pastoralists and farmers whose livestock and crops are suffering amid what the Government declared a “national drought disaster.”
“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 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, OCHA said.
Earlier this month, OCHA’s head, Stephen O’Brien 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 Security Council upon his return, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator said the international community is “facing the largest humanitarian crisis since the creation of the UN.”
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