The World Food Program issued an urgent appeal to fill a looming $35.4 million funding gap for the next six months and avoid an empty food supply for refugees in Kenya in February.
Dadaab and Kakuma camps in northern Kenya house about 550,000 refugees. They come mostly from Somalia, Sudan,South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi, and require about $12 million monthly for food.
“Time is short,” WFP Kenya Country Director Ronald Sibanda stressed, adding that new contributions are vital to ensure food rations will continue through March, “the onset of the short rains.” Sibanda also said that the agency can have food ready for distribution five to six weeks after receiving new funds.
“We are committed to continuing our support for refugees in Kenya, but unless WFP receives new contributions quickly, we might be forced, as a last resort, to reduce ration sizes so our existing food stocks will last longer.”
Refugees have been staying in Kenya for a year now and potential issues stemming from this include security problems and disease outbreaks. The effects of the 2011 Horn of Africa crisis are still reverberating around Kenya and donors are really careful about their potential effect on the nation’s stability, especially with the upcoming election — they want to make sure that everything will run smoothly.
Adrienne Valdez is a staff writer for Devex, covering breaking international development news for the Development Newswire. Before joining Devex, Adrienne worked as a news correspondent for a public-sector modernization publication.