Hunger relief in East Africa
Malteser International distributes rice, beans and oil in northern Kenya
Cologne/Marsabit. Carrying several tonnes of rice, beans and oil, Malteser International’s first relief convoy has reached northern Kenya, where it is being distributed to 17,000 people in the region. Working together with volunteers from the Marsabit diocese, Malteser International, the relief service of the Order of Malta for worldwide humanitarian aid, has started the first distribution phase for food items in four villages in Marsabit District, with a fifth village scheduled for distribution in the coming week.
“It hasn’t rained for a very long time in this desert-like region, and the people here were hit especially hard”, says Ute Kirch, emergency relief coordinator for Malteser International. “People here live traditionally from livestock, but pastures have dried out, the cattle is dying, and there’s no more food – they have used up all of their reserves”.
Residents of Marsabit District, and even those coming from farther regions, have started coming for registration in one of the health care units in Segel, Kargi, Laisamis and Sakardala. In those villages, Malteser International is giving each registered family a monthly ration consisting of 12 kilograms of rice, six kilograms of beans and two litres of cooking oil. The distribution will continue over the coming weeks and months. Children, pregnant women and the elderly, who are particularly weakened and vulnerable, will receive a protein- and vitamin-enriched supplement in addition to the staple food items.
“In Laisamis, the local hospital reports that three children suffering from acute malnutrition have already died”, Kirch says. “There, we distributed food items to 666 households – a total of 2,664 people – including undernourished children, pregnant and lactating women, as well as elderly and sick residents”.
In the village of Segel, 49 herder families received food aid for a total of 208 people. The families in need came to Segel from a different region, as there was no more food for the cattle where they lived. The need is also great in the villages of Sakardala and Kargi, where the distribution will be expanded based on the ongoing registration of affected families.
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Reference: Food crisis East Africa
Attention Editors: Ute Kirch, Malteser International’s emergency relief coordinator, is available for interviews. Contact through Malteser International’s headquarters at +49 (0) 221 98 22-169.
More photos of Malteser International's efforts in Kenya are available in the media library.
Malteser International is the worldwide relief agency of the Sovereign Order of Malta for humanitarian aid. The organisation provides aid in about 100 projects in more than 20 countries without distinction of religion, race or political persuasion. Christian values and the humanitarian principles of impartiality and independence are the foundation of its work. For further information: www.malteser-international.org and www.orderofmalta.org
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