Thursday, March 19, 2009

Kenya's late rains worsen food security

IRIN: Food insecurity in Kenya, already affecting millions of people, is set to escalate because the long rains are late and unlikely to be sufficient, officials warned. The forecast has contributed to an upward revision of the cost of humanitarian needs in 2009, from US$390 million to $575 million. "Predictions are that the long rains [which normally start in the second week of March] could be poor; this would lead to a more serious drought later in the year," Jeanine Cooper, head of the Kenya division of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), told IRIN on 17 March.

Abbas Gullet, secretary-general of the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS), told reporters on 17 March that Kenya's humanitarian situation was deteriorating with the failure of the rains. "The situation has not improved; we were expecting rain but it has not started," he said while collecting donations in Nairobi for distribution in the worst-hit areas.

… Aeneas Chuma, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Kenya, who presented the humanitarian organisations' plan to support populations affected by climatic shocks, food insecurity and livelihood deterioration, post-election violence and a growing number of refugees, said: "As development partners in Kenya, we recognise the importance of tackling chronic, recurrent and predictable problems with durable and effective solutions."…

Countryside in Kenya. © Sam Stearman, 2004. GFDL permission obtained by Quadell. Found on Wikimedia Commons, and used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2

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