, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 6 – Kenya on Saturday joined 70 other countries in the Global Walk to End World Hunger.
Flagging off of the hunger walk at Nairobi’s Arboretum, World Food Programme (WFP) Country Director Burkard Oberle said Kenya still has over 1.2 million children not attending school due to hunger.
“These are too many children who cannot afford to go to school due to lack of food, we need to work hard to make sure we are getting those children to school,” he said.
In Kenya hunger remains a big challenge due to famine and the global economic crisis.
Arid and semi arid parts of the country are still depending on relief food which the Kenya Red Cross said required more contributions from well-wishers.
In Kenya the food shortage came also as a result of the post election violence which displaced farmers as well as destroyed many farms.
Even with the coming of rains, experts have said the downpour is insufficient as it has only allowed farmers to plant in a few parts of the country.
Mr Oberle appealed to people to contribute to the school feeding programme to reach out to the millions of children who cant attend school due to hunger.
Despite the challenge, he said he was pleased that the food programme in Kenya was progressing well.
“Today we celebrate our success. We have been feeding children here in Kenya and in other parts of the country for many years now, and now many children have been able to go to school due to the programme,” he said.
In Kenya 750,000 children are beneficiaries of the school feeding programme with the government taking care of 450,000 of them.
Former World Marathon record holder Paul Tergat, a WFP goodwill ambassador and chief guest at the End World Hunger Walk said food insecurity in the country was a big challenge for parents who have to choose between taking their children to school and making them work to get food.
The athlete led participants in a five kilometre walk attended by United Nations officials, school children and other organisations partnering with WFP.
WFP began the school feeding programme in Kenya 25 years ago. It provides free lunch to needy children.