Kenya crisis: distribution in the Rift Valley

The World Food Programme has said that its Kenyan partners had started providing food assistance from WFP and the Government of Kenya in a new round of distributions in the slums of Nairobi hit by post-election violence and intimidation.

The World Food Programme said today that its Kenyan partners had started providing food assistance from WFP and the Government of Kenya in a new round of distributions in the slums of Nairobi hit by post-election violence and intimidation.

The Kenya Red Cross Society and WFP meanwhile started today delivering one-month rations in the northern Rift Valley for 67,000 people who fled their homes – often with just the clothes on their backs – to 50 camps near safer places such as churches, agricultural showgrounds and police posts.

The distributions of a one-week ration to 73,500 people in the Nairobi slums began on Thursday and are due to end next Tuesday. Food will be provided at 13 sites for the most vulnerable selected by church-based groups and other partners.

Homes burned

Many families say homes or workplaces were ransacked or burned in violence following the 27 December elections.

It is the third distribution since 10 January in Nairobi’s worst-affected slums of pulses, high energy biscuits, vegetable oil and corn-soya blend from WFP and cereals from the Government of Kenya. The current distributions aim to reach people who received rations before but are now short of food.

The slums – some of the largest in Africa – need food distributions because many residents rely on casual labour to survive and were unable to work during the unrest. Food prices in the slums have risen in recent weeks and many people cannot afford to buy what they need to survive.

Government assistance

In total, WFP food has reached 168,000 people displaced by violence in the Rift Valley and western Kenya. The Government provides mainly cereals from the Office of the President and WFP the other food -- such as beans, oil and corn-soya blend -- for a full food basket.

WFP food has also so far helped to feed 133,000 vulnerable people affected by the crisis in the Nairobi slums.

The delivery of humanitarian assistance is being at times hampered by sporadic violence in parts of the Rift Valley that uproots new groups of people and blocks access by road.

WFP aims to feed for three months 250,000 people displaced or affected by the post-election violence at a cost of US$10 million.

Appeal

The UN Central Emergency Response Fund has contributed US$3.35 million and Turkey US$100,000.

WFP has also appealed for US$617,000 for logistics and air support to provide assistance for the displaced and affected from UN agencies and non-governmental organizations including warehousing and transport. So far the United States has contributed US$118,000.

Schools in Kenya reopened on 14 January and children at more than 100 schools in the Nairobi slums received lunches made with WFP food in WFP’s regular school feeding programme.

But only an estimated 60 percent of the normal enrollment of 90,000 is so far attending school.