At least 31,000 children from arid and semi-arid countries affected by severe malnutrition will benefit from ready-to-use therapeutic nutrition.
Rashid Aman, who demonstrated more than 31,500 boxes of therapeutic food donated by the UK government at Afya House in Nairobi on Tuesday, said the food will help treat over 31,000 children suffering from severe malnutrition.
It is a life-saving essential food that treats severe malnutrition in children under the age of five and is packaged in the form of a ready-to-eat peanut paste fortified with essential vitamins and minerals.
The shipment will benefit children in the seven affected districts of Mandera, Turkana, Wajir, Marsabit, Garissa, Samburu and Isiolo .
“I just visited Wajir where I met with drought affected families. The UN estimates that 4.1 million people are suffering from the effects of the drought and need assistance. We know that climate change is driving these worsening droughts,” said Nick Dyer, Director General for Humanitarian Assistance and Development at the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office.
Kenya is are experiencing a prolonged and severe drought due to four consecutive missed rainy seasons.
This was caused by climate change and comes on top of the Covid-19 pandemic, an unprecedented situation.< /p>
Effects of drought
According to the UN, an estimated 4.1 million people are suffering from the effects of drought and need assistance.
This is a 17 percent increase from the original forecast between March and June 2022.
According to CAS Aman , persistent food insecurity has increased contributed to a dire and deteriorating nutritional situation, whereby approximately 942,500 children between the ages of 6 and 59 months are in urgent need of therapeutic treatment for acute malnutrition.
Approximately 24 percent (229,000) of these children have the most severe form of malnutrition , which compromises their immunity and greatly increases the risk of mortality.
“The therapeutic foods we discard today, and other batches that have already run out will no doubt save the lives of children affected by the drought, one of the worst we have seen in decades,” said Jean Lokenga, Deputy Representative of Unicef Kenya.