By Brenda Czeda Radido
The government and international partners are appealing for 17 billion shillings as the humanitarian crisis triggered by the ongoing drought worsens.
The flash appeal comes amid growing concerns of disease outbreaks, crop failure and conflict due to displacement and fights for limited resources.
Five weeks after the government declared drought a national disaster, the number of Kenyans in dire need of relief services in 23 arid and semi-arid counties has hit the 3 million shillings mark with the number projected to raise to 4 million by July if the expected March-May long rains fail.
The disturbing statistics coming against a background in which the UN has warned the global humanitarian crisis as a result of drought is the worst since World War II.
And now the Kenyan government which is facing a budget deficit to effectively mitigate the effects of drought has partnered with international agencies to launch a flash appeal to meet the deficit.
The government acknowledging the humanitarian disaster is unprecedented in scale and impact, amid concerns it could spread further says the funds will be used to offer relief supplies including food, and medicine as well as cushion families whose livelihood were destroyed as a result of the ongoing drought.
The government says the money will also finance Kenyans to adequately prepare to handle similar situations in future.
UN Resident Coordinator Siddharth Chatterjee says the 17 billion Kenya shillings flash appeal compliments the government’s ongoing nine month response plan which currently faces a funding gap of 7.2 billion shillings.
The UN says the third consecutive year of unreliable rains is causing thirst and hunger, decimating livestock, destroying livelihood, spreading disease, and triggering conflict and displacement.
The Flash appeal will be revised in 3 months based on the findings of the long rains between March and May.