Kenya Calls For Urgent Scale Up Of Response As Drought Worsens

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Kenyan President William Ruto has called for a scale-up of interventions to tackle the current drought, which has left millions of Kenyans in dire need of food.

According to Ruto, the response must be urgent to avert "widespread distress and suffering" as the crisis worsens.

He identified the priority areas as enhanced food assistance, cash transfers, and health and nutrition interventions.

Other interventions include sustained water supply, livestock feeds, school feeding programmes and peace and security initiatives.

President Ruto spoke on Thursday at State House, Nairobi, during the launch of the 2022 Short Rains (October to December) Assessment Report.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, Cabinet Secretaries, Diplomats, the National Steering Committee on Drought Response and the private sector were present.

President Ruto said Ksh6 billion (USD$47.7 million) had been set aside in the latest Supplementary Budget to respond to the drought between February and May.

The amount will be supplemented by the private sector-led National Steering Committee on Drought Response, which has raised Ksh650 million (USD$ 5.2 million) so far.

The President told the session that more than Ksh15.35 billion (USD$122 million) is required for urgent life-saving interventions.

"We call on international partners, the private sector and well-wishers to help us bridge this resource gap that will help in building long-term resilience," he said.

He committed to the full accounting of every coin donated for humanitarian aid in the country.

To cushion the country against such a disaster in future, his deputy Rigathi Gachagua said the Government has adopted a long-term measure.

He said irrigation and the ongoing ecological restoration in the country will sustainably help rehabilitate the environment and reverse the effects of climate change.

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