US government donates Ksh 23.4 billion towards Kenya’s drought relief efforts

The United States Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has donated KSh 23.4 billion to aid in drought relief efforts in Kenya.

The funds will be used by the World Food Programme (WFP) in Kenya to offer crucial food and nutrition assistance as well as resilience building programs to thousands of people who are enduring the region’s worst drought in four decades.

The contribution, which is the largest ever made by a single donor to WFP’s program in Kenya, will also help thousands of refugees meet their food needs.

“We are extremely grateful for this record contribution from the US Government to support thousands of people affected by severe drought and those driven from their homes by conflict,’” said Lauren Landis, WFP’s Country Director in Kenya.

“WFP is rapidly scaling up life-saving assistance to support more drought-affected families whose livelihoods have been devastated by four consecutive failed rainy seasons,” she added.

According to the World Food Programme, the funding will help scale up its drought response by providing food and cash assistance to 535,000 people facing emergency levels of hunger, treating malnutrition in 570,000 young children, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers, and increasing food rations to 80 percent for over 500,000 refugees.

WFP will also continue providing resilience building initiatives such as rehabilitating irrigation infrastructure and livelihood diversification programmes such as beekeeping and the introduction of drought-tolerant crops for 370,000 people.

“There is still no end in sight to this drought crisis and we call on all donors to ensure predictable and sustainable funding through this year and well into 2023 to save lives and stop more people from falling into deeper levels of hunger,” said Landis.

According to the 2022 Long Rains Assessment report, which was released in August 2022, there are currently 3.5 million Kenyans who are food insecure as a result of the drought.

Over 700,000 individuals are in emergency situations, and an estimated 940,000 children, 135,000 pregnant women, and lactating moms are acutely malnourished and in need of immediate treatment across the country.

According to the report, as the drought continues, the number of food insecure people might grow to 4.35 million by October.

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