by Christine Lagat
NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya intends to
raise new funds from multilateral donors and local corporations
to support humanitarian assistance for an estimated 3 million
people affected by the current drought, officials said on
Head of Civil Service Joseph Kinyua said the
government was finalizing discussions with development partners,
relief agencies and private sector lobby to explore modalities
of replenishing a drought response kitty.
"Our assessment indicates the humanitarian crises linked to
drought is dire and we have appealed to our development partners
and private sector to help us bridge a funding shortfall for
emergency food aid in the affected counties," said Kinyua.
He spoke to reporters after conclusion of a meeting between
state agencies, bilateral donors and the private sector to
explore innovative response to the biting drought in the
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Feb. 10 declared drought a
national disaster and made a fresh appeal to the international
community to support provision of food, water and healthcare to
Immediately after Kenyatta declared the current drought a
national disaster, the UN pledged support for affected
communities in 23 arid and semi arid counties.
Kinyua said that Kenya’s bilateral partners including the
U.S., China and the European Union have expressed willingness to
support drought response initiatives in the country.
"Our development partners are ready to be part of the ongoing
drought response measures which include food aid and cash
transfers for the affected communities," said Kinyua.
"We are focusing not just on emergency assistance but also on
how this country can be able to feed itself in the face of harsh
climatic conditions," he said.
The government has allocated 110 million dollars to support
drought resilience programs between February and April when the
long rains are expected to ease food and water shortage.
Principal Secretary in the State Department of Agriculture,
Richard Lesiyampe disclosed the EU and United States have
pledged 10 million and 50 million dollars respectively to
support drought mitigation efforts in the country.
He added that Denmark will provide 5 million dollars to
support water trucking in drought hit counties while other
bilateral partners will provide food rations to communities
staring at starvation.
The Principal Secretary said the government will drill
boreholes in seven counties hardest hit by drought and import
staples from neighboring countries to reduce the intensity of
hunger in the country.