UN helping Kenya respond to drought-related food and water crisis

Herder in search of pasture (file)

13 January 2011 – United Nations agencies and their partners are helping the Kenyan Government respond to food and water shortages that have hit several parts of the country as a result of a prolonged dry spell, which has been particularly severe in arid areas inhabited by nomadic livestock keepers.

Assistance to the affected communities in the northern, eastern, north-eastern and coastal areas of the East African country include delivery of water, food aid and supplementary feeding for children, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). About five people are reported to have died of causes related to the drought.

The drought is expected to have an adverse effect on agriculture and livestock production in the affected areas, disrupting the livelihood of an estimated three million people.

Food prices have risen as household stocks of crops have dwindled, with families with limited resources and other vulnerable groups the worst affected.

Humanitarian agencies and their Kenyan Government partners will carry out a 12-day assessment starting on Monday to determine the extent of the crisis, according to OCHA.

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