Kenya partners with UN to launch US$139.5 million Drought Flash Appeal
Kenya has partnered with the UN and other donor representatives to launch the Drought Flash Appeal seeking US$139.5 million.
The donations will be used to deliver relief to 1.3 million people in drought-stricken counties in the country.
The United Nations Resident Coordinator for Kenya, Dr. Stephen Jackson oh his visit to Wajir County called for immediate action to respond to the severe drought that is ravaging communities in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) region of Kenya.
“People in the ASAL region are facing a dire situation,” said Dr. Jackson during the humanitarian Flash Appeal launch for the Kenya Drought response.
“I met today with women, men, and children in Wajir, who all told me how their lives are being upended by the drought. It is imperative that we act now, working closely with communities and community-led organizations, to alleviate the suffering that has been caused by back-to-back poor rainy seasons.” He added.
The appeal brings together 45 humanitarian partners, including UN agencies, international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), national NGOs, and the Kenya Red Cross Society, to complement the Government’s response to the drought crisis.
On 8th September, President Kenyatta declared drought in the ASAL regions as a national disaster.
It is estimated that at least 2.1 million people are facing severe food insecurity in the region and is expected to rise to 2.4 million by the beginning of November.
Acute malnutrition is also rising, posing an imminent risk to children, pregnant and lactating women. Women, the elderly, and children are also facing increased risks of exploitation and abuse as a result of the deteriorating situation.
Men are having long journeys afield to access water, food, and forage, resulting in family separation and tensions between communities.
Dr. Jackson stressed the urgent need for additional funding to enable partners to scale up the important work already being done on the ground.
“Humanitarian partners reached nearly half a million people in the ASAL region in the first seven months of 2021, in support of the Government-led response. However, much more must be done. Without additional funding, we risk jeopardizing the amazing efforts that are already underway and will certainly not be able to meet the rapidly rising needs that I have seen today.”