22 February 2018

Kenya: Red Cross Appeals for Sh1 Billion to Fight Hunger

The Kenya Red Cross Society is appealing for Sh1 billion in aid of families in drought-stricken areas.

At least 3.4 million Kenyans are estimated to be facing hunger across the country.

"Our appeal is to all stakeholders, local and international, to support us in mitigation efforts.

"We are keen on escalating our interventions through direct cash transfers, health and nutrition outreaches, rehabilitation of key communal watering points, animal offtake among others," Secretary-general Abbas Gullet said on Thursday at the agency's headquarters in Nairobi.

Dr Gullet said the society is targeting about 1.37 million people living in the worst-hit counties of Tana River, Kajiado, Wajir, Isiolo, Garissa and Kitui.

The plea comes two months after the government froze the Sh90 maize flour subsidy, which was rolled out to cushion Kenyans from high prices in the face of a drought.

The current drought was declared a national disaster by President Uhuru Kenyatta last February due to poor rainfall that affected crop yields.

The drought, whose effects were worsened by invasion of the fall armyworm on farms in Rift Valley, the country's food basket, affected about 2.7 million Kenyans before the number increased.

Other affected counties, according to Dr Gullet, are Mandera, Marsabit and Taita Taveta, which he said were experiencing medium drought.


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