Kenya: Highest malnutrition in a decade, crisis to continue well into 2012
UN and aid agencies appealed today for US$764 million to help nearly four million people cope with drought, rising food prices and poverty in Kenya.
The crisis has left millions of people with limited access to food and water, and some areas now have the highest malnutrition rate recorded in a decade. And as many as 385,000 children under five are malnourished.
Kenya’s crisis has been exacerbated by the arrival of nearly 600,000 Somali refugees, fleeing drought and conflict back home. Their presence is putting a growing strain on Kenyan resources, and causing tensions between local and refugee communities. Insecurity is mounting along the border and affecting aid delivery.
“Kenya has been disproportionately affected in this regard, being host to the world’s largest refugee camp. More than 160,000 new arrivals have been registered since January, mostly in Dadaab,” said Aeneas C. Chuma, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Kenya, during the launch of the 2012 funding appeal in Nairobi.
More than half of the funding will be used to help refugees, while the rest will provide food aid and ensure investments in agriculture, education and disaster risk reduction to communities in Kenya.