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Kenya Allocates $118.1M To Buy Additional Food

Kenyan Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta said Monday that the country’s government allocated $118.1 million to buy additional food imports because up to 10 million people are at risk of “severe hunger” due to drought, Bloomberg reports.

He said the government will “reprioritize expenditure” to come up with the funds in response to the situation. “In response to an appeal made by President Mwai Kibaki last week, the Japanese government” granted Kenya about $8 million to purchase of food, according to Bloomberg (Ombok, 8/24).

In related news, the Washington Post examines the drought’s effects in Kenya. “Drought in this part of Africa is hardly new … This time, however, the crisis is exacerbating Kenyans’ frustration with a coalition government established after weeks of post-election violence last year. People are blaming politicians for the crisis, not nature,” the newspaper writes.

“The situation has become especially politicized in Kenya, where people say that the effects of recurrent droughts are exacerbated by systematic government failings,” according to the Washington Post. Though the “monthly requirement” to feed Kenya’s population is 300,000 tons, the “government currently has 500,000 metric tons of maize in strategic reserves,” and the “crisis is expected to continue for at least two months,” writes the Washington Post, adding that the “government is also being blamed for the systematic destruction of the country’s primary water catchment area, the vast Mau Forest” (McCrummen, 8/22).