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Kenya: US$106 million needed to step up drought response in the critical months ahead

07 Sep 2017


Credit: OCHA/Rita Maingi

Humanitarian partners in Kenya today appealed for US$106 million to scale-up their response to the most urgent and lifesaving needs resulting from the egregious effects of the drought in northern Kenya.

“We as the UN family and the humanitarian community stand with the Government and people of Kenya to address the devastating effects of the drought on some of the country’s most vulnerable communities,” said Mr. Siddharth Chatterjee, UN Resident Coordinator in Kenya. “Today, we are appealing to the international community to step up its support to Kenya by pledging additional resources to bolster our relief efforts in the critical months ahead. The previous Flash Appeal for Kenya launched in March 2017 has been only 43% funded.

There are now an estimated 5.6 million people affected as a result of the drought, including 3.4 million people food insecure. Of particular concern are the 2.6 million people now facing severe food insecurity, including 500,000 experiencing ‘emergency’ levels of food insecurity according to the Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) system. A total of 369,277 children in the arid and semi-arid counties of Kenya now require urgent treatment for acute malnutrition and, in the worst-affected counties, Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rates are more than twice the emergency threshold of 15 per cent. In Turkana South, for example, the GAM rate is an alarming 37 per cent.

Children are missing out on education as most schools have closed due to the drought in Bandarero village, Moyale County, Kenya. Credit: OCHA/Rita Maingi

“Since we launched the original Kenya Flash Appeal in March 2017, the food insecurity and malnutrition crisis has escalated due to recurrent drought,” said Chatterjee. “Water shortages and disease outbreaks have exacerbated the impact on those already facing hunger and malnutrition, and livelihoods have been further compromised by an infestation of Fall Army Worm. We urgently need funding to step-up the response and prevent a further deterioration in the situation.”

The Revised Flash Appeal, which covers September to December 2017, complements the Government of Kenya’s 13 month extended response plan. Through the Flash Appeal, humanitarian partners aim to respond to the most life-threatening needs of 1.9 million people, prioritizing response in the 11 counties facing the highest levels of malnutrition and food insecurity. Since November 2016, the Government of Kenya has allocated $124.3 million through phases one and two of its response plan.

However, the third phase of the Government’s response is likely to be delayed due to political developments, making the response planned by humanitarian partners through the Flash Appeal all the more critical.

“The Government of Kenya is doing its part with its resources stretched to breaking point. So should we” said Chatterjee.