The United States government has donated at least Ksh.16 billion in support of Kenya’s drought relief efforts.

According to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the funds will help meet the urgent needs for approximately 1.3 million people across Kenya.

The additional food assistance to Kenya comes amid an ongoing drought that has left more than four million people in the grips of a dire hunger crisis, with the number expected to rise to over five million by June this year.

After a fifth failed rainy season in the Horn of Africa, cumulative rainfall in Kenya is now less than 70 percent of the 30-year average across most of the country – exacerbating humanitarian needs.

USAID will provide emergency food items such as sorghum, maize, yellow split peas, and vegetable oil for families living in areas where local markets are not functioning. 

Additionally, in areas where markets are functioning, partners will provide cash-based assistance for families. The agency will also support programs to prevent and treat child malnutrition, as more than 970,000 children ages five and younger are acutely malnourished across the country.

“Given the magnitude of the current crisis, however, more funding will be required to meet expected humanitarian needs through 2023,” USAID added.

President William Ruto has welcomed the announcement which comes following a visit to the country by US First Lady Jill Biden.

Taking to Twitter, the president expressed his gratitude for the support as the country experiences the worst drought due to 4 years of failed rains.  

“On behalf of the people of Kenya, my profound gratitude to the US government for this generous support to very deserving people suffering the worst drought due to 4 years consecutive failed rains. Water harvesting to enhance food/livestock production & manage climate change effects,” Ruto said.

Sourced from citizen

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