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More food relief for drought-stricken Kenya

Food is distributed in Marsabit County in a recent emergency response. CWS Photo.

February 27, 2023

By Naba Gurung

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The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund has allocated $260,000, along with $250,000 from our Canadian Foodgrains Bank account, to support a three-month humanitarian response project in Kenya. The emergency food distribution will be implemented by Church World Service in Maikona and Korr/Ngurunit wards in Marsabit County.   

Close to 90% of the people in Marsabit County have been affected by drought. Livelihoods have been ravaged, including massive death among camels, which are typically very resilient to drought. Marsabit County has been designated as an emergency since October 2022. Nationally, more than 5.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance.  

An unprecedented fifth consecutive rainfall failure and warmer-than-usual temperatures have accelerated the depletion of rangeland and water resources. Household food needs are not being met. With limited food availability, market disruptions, and loss of livelihoods, the hunger situation is expected to become more extreme.  

This project is a continuation of the previous two food projects in Marsabit. The first project ended in December 2022 and distributed food to 3,000 households. The second project ended in January 2023 and assisted 4,000 most vulnerable households in different wards of Marsabit County. CWS will provide a further three months of food basket transfers to 2,000 households (approximately 12,000 individuals).  

The monthly household food basket will consist of: 

  • 50 kg of maize meal 
  • 10 kg of beans 
  • 3 litres of cooking oil 
  • 0.5 kg of iodized salt.  

In addition, families with women who are pregnant or lactating, or with elderly people who are extremely affected by the drought (approximately half of the households), will also receive a monthly ration of 5 kg of corn-soya blend (CSB), a nutritional supplement. 

A total of 300 metric tonnes of maize meal, 60 mt of beans, 18,000 litres of oil, 3 mt of salt, and 15 mt of CSB will be provided over the three-month project. 

–Naba Gurung is the Humanitarian Response Coordinator for PWRDF