, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 31 – Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka has thanked Kenyans and the International Community for responding swiftly to the severe famine affecting most parts of the country by donating money and food aid.
The Vice president was speaking at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Sunday morning when he received 32,000 metric tonnes of foodstuffs, medicine and food supplements worth Sh27 million from Humedica International Aid of Germany that would be distributed to the famine stricken victims in North Eastern and Turkana through the Kalonzo Musyoka Foundation.
The donations included infant formula, dry powder milk and porridge, nutrition feeding tubes and liquid infusion for new born babies.
Receiving the food in the company of the minister for Special Programmes Esther Murugi and the Wajir North MP Mohammed Hussein Gabbow, Mr Musyoka said the famine which affects Kenya, Djibouti, Eretria, Somalia and Ethiopia has been declared a disaster in the Horn of Africa.
He said the Kenya government in conjunction with the United Nations are preparing to hold a meeting this August to rally the International community to assist the starving in the Horn of Africa.
The Vice President noted that the government was doing everything possible to avert the famine situation which is the worst in 60 years.
Mr Musyoka said the military, National youth Service and other agencies have been mobilised to take food to every part of the country in order to reach the vulnerable.
He said the Kalonzo Musyoka Foundation will work with government and other agencies to mobilise relief assistance, adding that the Kalonzo Musyoka Foundation has already presented Sh500,000 to Kenya Red Cross.
Mr Musyoka said the government would ensure that the processing of goods in international airports is done expeditiously so as to allow food to reach the children who deserve the nutrients.
He also commended all the German citizens who contributed generously towards the aid and called on other countries to also assist in the aid singling out Turkana Country as among the areas that require urgent attention.
Minister Murugi said the country has 4.4 million people who are dependent on relief food supplies with most of them being women and children.
She said with the influx of 1,500 Somali refugees to the country , it was impossible for Kenya to cope with the crisis and called on international community to continue with the humanitarian assistance to combat the hunger.
“Keep on helping us with food and medical supplies until we get through with the crisis,” she said.
Ms Murugi urged the Somali government to allow donors to enter the country and provide food to the affected people so as to reduce the influx in the country.
She said if the Somalia people could be fed in their country the situation will not be worse as it is now adding that this will also make women and children not to be subjected too much hardship.
The Humedica International Aid Executive Director, Wolgang Gross thanked the Kenyan government for its cooperation and facilitation of the transportation of the good which made it possible for the aid to reach safely.
He said the organisation whose main focus is on children will visit Turkana, Daadab and some hospitals to observe the situation.
Mr Gross said the German local media and citizens were greatly touched by the international news they have been watching about Kenya and Somalia which he said had prompted them to donate generously.