, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 7 – The Federal Republic of Germany has given the World Food Programme (WFP) €6 million to improve nutrition in pregnant and lactating mothers in Kenya for the next three years.
Speaking during the donation at the Provide Health Facility in Korogocho on Tuesday WFP Country Director Burkard Oberle said the grant will benefit 65,000 women at risk of malnutrition.
“The grant comes at a time of escalating food prices and at such an alarming time of need. It will go a long way to benefit many poor women,” he said.
The women at risk of malnutrition will be drawn from slum areas in Nairobi, Kitui and Kisumu.
Mr Oberle also took the opportunity to express concern over the growing gap between the rich and the poor in Kenya.
He said poverty was on the rise and asked the government to re-energise its efforts to address the plight of the increasing number of poor Kenyans.
German Ambassador Walter Lindner said though it was the government’s responsibility to provide food for its citizens, there was need for the international community to chip in due to the tough economic times.
“The international community stands by the most vulnerable people who are too often forgotten like pregnant women and young mothers,” he said.
Area MP and Assistant Minister for Nairobi Metropolitan Elizabeth Ongoro appealed to the community to provide security to the women visiting the centre to pick the food.
“We should protect them and ensure the food is not stolen from them. The men should give them the security so that the food can benefit their women and children,” she said.
She said the programme was a big bonus to women since the Sh41 million allocated to her constituency cannot manage to support such projects.
WFP provides food assistance to 3.5 million people in Kenya following the drought and high food prices being experienced.
175,000 urban poor families with malnourished children are some of the beneficiaries of the programme that began in 2006.
Vouchers of between Sh100 and Sh200 have been introduced to women in need to access affordable health services to facilitate safe motherhood as well as treatment for gender based violence.