Kenya is doing its part to battle drought, we must too
After three years of drought and failed harvests, Kenya is in the grip of a national crisis.
Kenya has allocated US$ 128 million towards the national drought response effort, expanded social safety nets, and is working with the international community to mitigate the impacts of the drought on the most vulnerable.
But the US$ 166 million appeal launched by the UN and partners in March 2017 has raised a mere 18 per cent of its funding target, US$ 10.3 million of which from the UN’s own Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).
Governments that respond to humanitarian needs must be rewarded with support, not penalised by an international community that looks the other way.
The number of people facing severe food insecurity – 2.6 million – has tripled in less than a year.
Children are suffering from acute malnutrition and preventable diseases like diarrhoea, measles and cholera.
The situation would have been far worse had the Kenyan Government, the Kenyan Red Cross, the private sector, and the humanitarian community not stepped in earlier this year – declaring a national drought disaster and tapping into early warning and emergency preparedness systems, public-private partnerships and social safety nets.
Tensions will rise and diseases will spread.
With US$ 20 million we could stem the spread of cholera and diarrhoea by providing access to clean water and sanitation.
Let’s put our sticks in a bundle to make Kenya’s drought response – and its communities – unbreakable.