Thursday, August 20, 2009

More on the emergency aid plea for Kenya

We did mention this same story a couple of days ago, but we wanted to do another post on the request for emergency assistance to Kenya. The U.N.'s World Food Programme is asking the world for donations and food for the country. Kenya is experiencing their worst drought in a decade. The usual rainy season through August and July did not have much any rain.

From this story from the BBC we read more about the request and a scandal that has made matters worse,

The World Food Programme (WFP) has described the crisis as a "very difficult situation" and appealed to donor countries to offer funds.

Currently some 2.5 million people are receiving emergency food aid in the country but the effect of the drought has meant that a further 1.3 million now also need help.

"People are saying it is the worst drought since 2000," said WFP spokeswoman Gabrielle Menezes.

The regions affected normally harvest their crops once a year, planting them in April and collecting in September after the rains. But this year those rains have failed to come.

The Kenyan government was supposed to have built up a sizeable stock of maize but, following allegations of a corruption scandal, it only has enough to last another six weeks, says the BBC's East Africa correspondent, Will Ross.

Many subsistence farmers are reported to be abandoning rural areas - where they rely on aid - and moving into already over-congested slums in the towns and cities.

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