IFRC Secretary General visits drought-stricken Kenya

Secretary General, Jagan Chapagain
Jagan Chapagain, IFRC Secretary General addresses drought affected communities in Marsabit, Kenya

Nairobi/Geneva, 7 May 2022 (TDI): Jagan Chapagain, IFRC’s Secretary General ends a three-day visit to drought-stricken Kenya. The Secretary-General advised a great increase in humanitarian aid to the Horn of Africa’s afflicted communities.

Speaking at the conclusion of a visit to Marsabit, one of Kenya’s drought-stricken areas. Chapagain, the Secretary General, stated:

“I have seen firsthand the level of suffering caused by drought in Marsabit. There are highly unacceptable levels of malnutrition, a global acute malnutrition (GAM) rate of 53.6 per cent in this particular ward – one of the highest in Africa. The situation is rapidly deteriorating. We need immediate humanitarian assistance to reach the most vulnerable. We also need long term solutions that address the impact of climate change including investment in resilient livelihoods.”

Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia are still experiencing great, climate-related, and long-term humanitarian crises. More than 14 million people are food insecure and in need of assistance.

At least 5.5 million youngsters are harshly starving. Humanitarian help is greatly needed by 6.1 million Ethiopians and 4.1 million Somalis. 3.5 million Kenyans are severely food insecure.

The aridest and semi-arid parts of eastern and northern Kenya are suffering from serious drought. The Ukraine conflict has outdone and enlarged this hidden disaster to a large extent.

“It isn’t just food and water that people need here. In the background, there are unseen issues such as sexual and gender-based violence. As well as the profound impacts on mental health. An example given was of women walking over 40 km to reach potable water. What happens on the journey is unthinkable,” added Secretary General Chapagain.

Drought-stricken Kenya

Dr. Asha Mohammed, the Kenya Red Cross Society’s Secretary General, who was also at Marsabit, said:

“The fact that people in Marsabit have lost over 70 per cent of their livestock, which is their main source of livelihood, means that it will be a long and slow path to recovery. Our teams are playing a central role in reducing the risks that families are facing. They have provided cash assistance, food assistance and improved water treatment practices, but the need to rehabilitate water systems remains urgent. We call all our partners and stakeholders to support our efforts.”

As a result of the drought and starvation in Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia. Forces have joined hands to raise 39 million Swiss francs. Forces like IFRC, Kenya Red Cross, Ethiopian Red Cross, and Somali Red Crescent are all included.

This money will allow volunteers and staff from the Red Cross and Red Crescent to help 1,560,000 people. This will allow them to expand their emergency and humanitarian relief and recovery efforts. This will also address the core causes of food insecurity.

The IFRC’s Pan African Zero Hunger Initiative is in line with this concept. It approves a full method for food security, including particular involvements for quick nutrition, food security, and livelihood aid.

It also focuses on households and communities that are severely food insecure. Especially those with a long-term plan aimed at achieving zero hunger and long-term recovery.

“Food is a basic need of the population. We call upon every government in Africa to ensure they have the right policy framework to deal with drought,” said the Secretary General.

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