Japanese Ambassador to Kenya Toshihisa Takata tries his hand at cooking for children at a school in Mathare slums in Nairobi. WFP/David Orr.
The government of Japan has contributed an additional US$ 6.5 million to the United Nation World Food Programme (WFP) to help the agency feed nearly 3.4 million vulnerable people in Kenya, including school children, refugees, and the drought-affected poor. The new contribution brings Japan’s total support for WFP’s food assistance programmes in Kenya to US$ 22.9 million (about Ksh 1.9 billion) in the last 12 months.
“Japan is pleased to be able to help people in need of food assistance and will continue to support activities that improve food security,” said the Japanese Ambassador to Kenya Toshihisa Takata as he reaffirmed his government’s commitment towards supporting those in need.
WFP will use the donation to support the Government of Kenya through the school meals, drought recovery, and refugee programmes in various parts of the country. WFP is providing food assistance to 2.2 million food-insecure people in northern arid districts, feeding about 550,000 refugees in Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps, and providing school meals to 630,000 children in 1,500 schools in arid districts of northern Kenya and the slums of Nairobi.
“The right to food, especially for children, is enshrined in the new Kenyan constitution, so I am gratified to note that part of the donation will go towards providing needy children with food in schools,” said Kenyan Education Minister Mutula Kilonzo, thanking the Government of Japan on behalf of the Government of Kenya.
“This very generous contribution in the last 12 months is a clear demonstration of Japan’s commitment to WFP’s fight against hunger,” said WFP Country Director Ronald Sibanda, who welcomed the contribution and thanked Japan for its consistent support for WFP activities. “At the height of the drought that affected the Horn of Africa in 2011, Japan contributed US$ 16.4 million for the drought response in Kenya, and Japan has given a further US$ 6.5 million this year”
“This new contribution comes at particularly critical time time because despite the reasonably good October to December 2011 short rains, recovery is fragile due to the fact that the short rains were preceded by three successive seasons of drought,” Sibanda added. “Many people continue to need assistance as they recover and rebuild.”
In collaboration with the Kenyan government, WFP is expanding its support for activities that promote sustainable food and nutrition security by investing in and developing communities’ ability to cope with frequent and prolonged droughts. WFP is also providing specialized food to treat malnutrition for more than 100,000 young children, pregnant women and new mothers, who are most vulnerable to the long-term effects of undernutrition.
For more information please contact (email address: email@example.com):
Rose Ogola, WFP/Nairobi, Tel. +254 20 762 2301, Mob. +254 707 722 161