, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 16 – As the world marked the World Food Day on Friday, the Spanish government announced that it had set aside Sh96.3 million to support World Food Programme’s (WFP) efforts to deal with the drought situation in the country.
Spanish Ambassador in Nairobi Nicolas Martin said the funds will cover logistic costs for about 4,500 metric tonnes of maize received from the government.
“We answered an appeal from the government of Kenya that they do not even have money for the transport of maize and we thought that it would be necessary to help Kenyans here and in other places to facilitate this process,” the Spanish Ambassador said.
Government statistics indicate that 14 millions Kenyans are in desperate need of emergency food assistance until the next harvest.
“We are going to keep our promises and we are going to put Kenya as one of our priority areas,” Mr Martin said.
The Spanish Ambassador was speaking during a seed distribution programme in Kajiado central district where he stressed the need for good governance.
“There is need for good governance because we as donors need to see that the money we are spending is used for the needs of the people on the ground,” he stressed.
The World Food Day is marked annually to explore ways of improving access to food around the world.
This year’s World Food Day theme is the “connection between hunger and poverty” and the focus is on the worsening drought situation in the Horn of Africa.
The UN estimates that 19 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance across the Greater Horn of Africa.
Meanwhile, the World Food Programme has emphasised the need to build more water pans in the country to act as water catchment areas during rainy seasons.
WFP country Director Burkard Orberle said that this would go a long way in preserving water to be used especially during dry spells.
“The rain distribution is not very regular. We can capture much of the water which is coming in the form of very heavy rains by simply digging some soil banks or increasing the water pans,” he explained.