Hunger in East Africa: Malteser International starts emergency relief in northern Kenya
Food and medical aid to be distributed in rural areas
Cologne/Marsabit. A major food crisis is currently developing in the horn of Africa, where ten million people are at risk of starvation following the region’s worst drought in several decades. Malteser International, the relief service of the Order of Malta for worldwide humanitarian aid, will begin its emergency relief activities in the region to address the most pressing needs of the population.
In Marsabit, in northern Kenya, Malteser International will provide the starving people with essential food items such as rice, beans and oil. The aid will be targeted especially at children, pregnant and lactating women. In addition to food, they will also receive emergency medication, including vitamin A, iron and folic acid supplements and deworming drugs.
“First, we need to urgently address the needs of the population in remote areas, which are currently not fully covered by relief assistance”, says Paul Ochieng, Malteser International’s programme coordinator in Kenya. “Afterwards, we will work on improving the people’s resilience to droughts in the long run.”
After the emergency relief phase, Malteser International plans on a long-term intervention in the region to improve the population’s self-help abilities, including income-generating measures and a food security programme.
Malteser International has been working in Kenya since 2001 in the fight against HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, and has worked closely with the Marsabit diocese since 2006.
The United Nations have described the current emergency in the horn of Africa as the world’s greatest ongoing humanitarian disaster.
Attention Editors: Paul Ochieng, Malteser International’s programme coordinator in Kenya, is available for interviews. Contact through Malteser International’s headquarters at +49 (0) 221 98 22-169
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Reference: Food crisis East Africa
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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