Church in Kenya Makes Appeal for Aid

NAKURU, Kenya, AUG. 27, 2004 (Zenit.org).- The Kenyan Church made an urgent appeal to the government and to the international community to send food aid to the districts most affected by the drought, one of the most serious in the country’s history, Misna reported.

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The Justice and Peace Commission of the Nakuru diocese reported that 8,000 families are without food. The number is set to double over the new few days if food rations are not dispatched immediately, as an additional 9,000 families have virtually finished their stocks.

The commission pointed out that “the difficulty of obtaining a harvest has been compounded by speculation in the country’s main markets, where the price of cereals has tripled.”

According to the United Nations’ World Food Program (WFP), “over 2 million people are in urgent need of food aid.”

It is currently estimated that 60 percent of crops have been lost in five of the eight provinces in the country. This means that 156,000 tons of food aid is needed over the next six months, amounting to a total of $76 million.

The most affected areas, among them the Rift Valley, will need food aid until January, 2005.

Tesema Negash, WFP Director in Kenya, stressed that the situation could deteriorate over the next six months. One million people are at risk of hunger if the rainfall this is year is as light as last year.

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ZENIT Staff

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