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WFP Asks For $230M In Emergency Food Aid For Kenyans

“The U.N.’s World Food Programme (WFP) appealed on Tuesday for more than $230 million to provide emergency food aid over the next six months for 3.8 million Kenyans affected by deepening drought and high food prices,” Reuters reports (Wallis, 8/25).

The WFP reports that the main maize harvest is projected to be 28 percent below average and that “pasture and water for livestock is dwindling rapidly,” according to VOA News. The agency also says that malnutrition rates are increasing significantly. In some areas, more than 20 percent of people are malnourished, “which is well above the emergency threshold of 15 percent,” VOA News writes (Schlein, 8/25).

Burkard Oberle, WFP Kenya country director, said that at least 260,000 metric tons of food are needed, IRIN reports. WFP is already distributing about 32,000 metric tons of food each month to 2.6 million people (8/25).

VOA News: In Kenya, food prices are currently between 100 and 130 percent above normal, according to WFP spokeswoman Emilia Casella. “This is a country where obviously many people are buying the majority of their food and spending the majority of their salaries on food,” she said (8/25).

Reuters: “Red lights are flashing across the country,” Oberle said in a statement. “People are already going hungry, malnutrition is preying on more and more young children, cattle are dying – we face a huge challenge and are urging the international community to provide us with the resources we need to get the job done,” he said (8/25).

The Associated Press published an article examining how the drought is affecting people in Kenya. “The slums, where roughly half the capital’s 4 million residents live, are being hit the worst. Taps have run dry and residents often wait for days for trucks to deliver expensive potable water,” according to the AP (Odula, 8/26).