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21 August 2009

A recurring drought in parts of Kenya has affected millions of people and has caused population shifts from rural areas to towns and villages. (...) Caritas has been a main regional distributor of aid supplied by the U.N. World Food Program since 2000. "Caritas…is targeting 68,000 very needy people. We are appealing that this number is much, much less than…the people in need. And we are hopeful that the number is soon going to be increased to close to 200,000 people," he says. The community-based programs supply food rations each month, but he says those supplies usually only last about three weeks. So, Waweru says, there's a need for full monthly or "100 percent" rations. "Because they do not have anything…and the coping mechanisms are extended to the extreme." However, Caritas and the WFP say unless donor funding increases, it will be difficult to expand humanitarian programs.


21 August 2009

The number of Kenyans in urgent need of food aid has jumped by more than 50 per cent to nearly 4m, according to official figures, as the country is hit by mass hunger as well as shortages of power and water. The immediate cause of the three-fold crisis is a prolonged drought, but critics of Kenya's dysfunctional coalition government blame it for failing to mitigate the drought's effects, in spite of clear warning signs. The government was already facing public discontent over its failure to implement political reforms pledged after last year's post-election crisis, but the impact of the food, water and power shortages is adding to the anger. New figures released yesterday by the government, the United Nations and aid agencies showed that the number of Kenyans needing food aid had risen to 3.8m from 2.5m due to the failure of the "long rains", which normally begin in April. The UN's World Food Programme says it is the worst food crisis since a drought in 2000 and is appealing to international donors for more funds.


20 August 2009

Crop failures, and higher food prices since unrest followed a disputed election last year, have led to widespread food shortages. The World Food Programme, the U.N. food agency, says Kenya is suffering its worst drought in 10 years after four years of failed rains. It says that this year alone, an extra one million Kenyans will have to depend on food aid on top of the 2.5 million already doing so, meaning one in 10 Kenyans will be relying on handouts.


20 August 2009

The number of Kenyans in urgent need of food aid has jumped by over 50 per cent to nearly 4m, according to official figures, as the country is hit by mass hunger as well as shortages of power and water. The immediate cause of the three-fold crisis is a prolonged drought, but critics of Kenya’s dysfunctional coalition government blame it for failing to mitigate the drought’s effects, in spite of clear warning signs. The government was already facing public discontent over its failure to implement political reforms pledged after last year’s post-election crisis, but the real-life impact of the food, water and power shortages is fuelling the anger. New figures compiled by the government, the United Nations and aid agencies showed on Thursday that the number of Kenyans in urgent need of food aid had risen to 3.8m from 2.5m due to the failure of the “long rains”, which normally begin in April. The UN’s World Food Programme says it is the worst food crisis since a drought in 2000 and is launching an appeal for more aid from international donors.


20 August 2009

More than one million Kenyans risk facing hunger because of a prolonged drought, the UN has warned. The lack of rains has caused crops to fail and cattle-herders are also struggling to keep their animals alive. The worst affected areas are in the country's semi-arid south-east regions as well as some parts of central Kenya. The World Food Programme (WFP) has described the crisis as a "very difficult situation" and appealed to donor countries to offer funds. Currently some 2.5 million people are receiving emergency food aid in the country but the effect of the drought has meant that a further 1.3 million now also need help. "People are saying it is the worst drought since 2000," said WFP spokeswoman Gabrielle Menezes.


19 August 2009

Hundreds of Somali refugees have started moving out of the world’s biggest refugee camp in Kenya in a bid to relieve pressure on the overcrowded complex at Dadaab, the UN refugee agency said Tuesday. (...) “At the same time we are seriously concerned about the deteriorating security situation in Somalia,” said Mahecic. He warned that the wave of “abductions, killings and intimidation of aid workers, and pillaging” of relief supplies added to the difficulty of reaching some 1.3 million people who are displaced inside the country. Security guards repelled an attack on a World Food Program compound in Somalia in Sunday, leaving three attackers dead after a gunfight, UN officials said. An estimated 3.2 million people inside Somalia are rely on emergency urgent humanitarian aid, according to the UNHCR.


19 August 2009

The Kenyan coalition government on Tuesday launched an ambitious emergency response program to provide rapid delivery of food, water and medicine to over 10 million people in arid and semi-arid areas of the country most affected by the prolonged drought. The response program has been necessitated by serious challenges on the government coping mechanisms posed by the unprecedented deterioration of food security in the country. following the failure of rains for the fourth consecutive year. The multi-faceted rapid response program was simultaneously launched in eleven arid and semi-arid districts by President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga at Loiyangalani trading center in Marsabit North District. Kibaki said the interventions undertaken would complement the relief food distributed by the government in conjunction with the World Food Program covering 2.6 million adults, another 1.5 million children and over 250,000 others in supplementary feeding.


19 August 2009

In Kenya a bruising and recurring drought is driving huge numbers of subsistence farmers away from rural areas, where they are increasingly reliant on hand-outs, into congested slums. "People are opting to relocate. I know families that are demolishing their houses, selling iron sheets and timber and getting back to the nearest towns and settling in slums," said Steven Waweru, an official with Caritas that helps distribute World Food Programme aid in the region. "In this village, about 50 percent of people have moved to the slum areas. This is going to increase pressure in town," he said, adding: "We've not seen that for a long long time".


19 August 2009

More than 1 million Kenyans affected by a prolonged drought are not getting the food aid they desperately need, the UN's World Food Program (WFP)has warned. The agency is already providing emergency food aid to some 2.5 million people in this East African nation but another 1.3 million still need help, said Gabrielle Menezes, a spokeswoman for WFP. "What we have here is an extremely difficult situation and people are saying it is the worst drought since 2000," Menezes said on Tuesday. She was in a region some 120 miles (200 kilometres) north of the capital, Nairobi, where WFP was distributing food.


19 August 2009

More than one million Kenyans affected by a prolonged drought are not getting the food aid they desperately need, the United Nations World Food Program said Tuesday. The agency already is providing emergency food aid to about 2.5 million people in Kenya, but an additional 1.3 million still need help, said Gabrielle Menezes, a spokeswoman for the program. She appealed to donors to help alleviate the shortfall.