The Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, has announced a US$3 million contribution from the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to assist people affected by severe floods, mudslides and landslides in Kenya.
The allocation follows heavy rains across the country since the beginning of October. “The funds will allow humanitarian organizations to rapidly provide critical food and livelihood support, shelter and health services for the most vulnerable people in the hardest-hit areas, including children, women, the elderly, and people living with disabilities,” said the UN Resident Coordinator in Kenya, Siddharth Chatterjee.
The storms have caused destruction and damage of key infrastructure, including houses, health facilities and schools, displacing an unconfirmed number of people and disrupting basic services in at least 32 of the 47 Kenya’s counties. Roads and bridges were damaged, hampering effective humanitarian response efforts in affected areas.
“The rains have also destroyed thousands of acres of farmland, in a context where the country was already facing increase hunger, with 3.1 million people projected to be in crisis and emergency levels of food insecurity,” said Mr. Chatterjee. “We are very grateful to CERF for this timely and crucial contribution and urge other donors to support the response,” he added, on behalf of the UN agencies* that will receive the funds.
In addition to provision of food, shelter materials and logistics support, the funds will be used to improve access to safe drinking water, both through repair of damaged water supplies and promotion of household water treatment and storage, as well as hygiene promotion campaigns to prevent water- and vector-borne diseases. Kenya has been facing different disease outbreaks in 2019, including cholera, dengue fever and Rift Valley fever.