Drought and food crisis hit poorest of Kenya’s poor

13/10/2011

Food insecurity is deteriorating in urban environments across Kenya because of rising global food prices and the lack of food available in local markets, according to Caritas Australia.

“There are reports coming out of the region that the number of severely malnourished children is growing. This is of great concern to us,” said Caritas Australia CEO Jack de Groot.

Following last week’s announcement of a Federal Government initiative to match, dollar for dollar, funds raised by foreign aid and development agencies, Mr de Groot said there was hope for people in the region if action is taken quickly.

“The Government’s announcement is very welcome and we would ask the Australian community to support this initiative and get behind the people of Kenya and East Africa,” Mr de Groot said.

“The Caritas network has a strong presence in Kenya. The emergency response has already seen 79,000 people receive food, 5000 people and 15,000 livestock now have improved access to clean water and 17,000 farmers have received access to agriculture which will help them in the long term.”

Mr de Groot said food insecurity was affecting 3.75 million people countrywide.

The food sector is assisting approximately 1.4 million people and 550,000 refugees. The Government of Kenya is assisting an additional 780,000 people until October.

In Somalia the Caritas network has distributed food to 43,115 people and 80,800 people have been given access to clean water. In Ethiopia emergency food has been supplied to 199,918 people, 376,723 people have access to clean water and food security has been delivered to 521,980 people.

“The sheer geographical scale of this crisis means that more needs to be done urgently,” Mr de Groot said.

“Now is the time for most Australians to play a role. Whatever amount of money we donate will literally be doubled by the Australian Government.

“So please do what you can and bring hope to our brothers and sisters in East Africa. They need us at this time.”

For more information, visit Caritas Australia's East Africa Appeal page or phone 1800 024 413.

The AusAID program will remain in effect until 30 November. The Government will match donations from individuals only. Donations from corporate sponsors or philanthropic organisations will not be matched. For more information on the initiative please go to www.ausaid.gov.au 

Tags: Caritas Australia   East Africa Appeal   Kenya


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