A convoy of food from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) left Nairobi today for displaced people in Kenya’s Northern Rift Valley and more WFP food left the town of Eldoret for thousands of desperately hungry people in the western town of Kisumu.
Twenty trucks loaded with 670 metric tons of food – enough to feed at least 70,000 people for two weeks – arrived in Nairobi from the port of Mombasa on Sunday. Nine of the trucks unloaded their food in Nairobi today and the remaining 11 headed on to Eldoret.
The trucks were escorted by police from Mombasa because transporters refused to leave without security escorts. The 11 trucks left Nairobi with a WFP escort vehicle for the town of Nakuru, 150 kilometres northwest of the capital, and will pick up an escort for the last leg to Eldoret.
The trucks for Eldoret are carrying a total of 380 tons of pulses, nutritious corn-soya blend (CSB) and vegetable oil – enough food to feed more than 38,000 displaced for two weeks.
The trucks unloading in Nairobi will provide stocks that WFP can draw on as soon as a plan to provide food assistance to the hungry in Nairobi’s slums is agreed by the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRC), other partners, church-based organizations and the authorities.
A total of 40 tons of WFP food left Eldoret by truck today for the western town of Kisumu, where WFP partners report 3,000 displaced people are in desperate need of food.
The KRC told WFP on Sunday that it has distributed 229 tons of food to 42,000 people in the Northern Rift Valley. One hurdle is that the displaced population is in flux with people using the relative calm to move. But assessments are underway to find those in need.
WFP high energy biscuits are offloaded from trucks in Kenya's Rift Valley.
WFP is providing non-cereals to the KRC to feed the 100,000 people estimated displaced in the Northern Rift. At the same time, the Government of Kenya is providing 1,800 tons of cereals – enough to feed 120,000 people for one month – to the KRC to distribute.
A total of 150 tons of WFP CSB arrived by road in Eldoret on Sunday along with 30 tons of vegetable oil. WFP has agreed with the KRC on a two-week ration for western Kenya of cereals, pulses, oil, CSB, high energy biscuits and wheat soya-milk, which is similar to CSB, where available.
To respond to the current crisis, WFP is drawing on stocks from its other operations in Kenya – feeding 700,000 people hit by drought and 1.1 million children in 3,800 schools and an HIV/AIDS project in Nairobi and Eldoret. But the borrowed food will need to be repaid.