, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 8 – The UN World Food Programme will spend Sh851 million donated by the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO) to address high levels of malnutrition among children, pregnant and nursing mothers in Kenya’s arid North.
The programme will provide special supplementary rations to 450,000 children under the age of five, and to pregnant and nursing mothers in Turkana, Samburu, Wajir, Marsabit and Mandera districts.
“Children under five are always hit hardest by a crisis and suffer the most,” he said. “Given the high levels of malnutrition in these five districts, this additional support will effectively help curb malnutrition levels,” said Burkard Oberle, WFP Country Director.
A recent nutrition survey found high malnutrition levels among people in the districts – above the 15 percent emergency threshold. To reduce these levels, WFP will feed all children below the age of five and all pregnant and nursing mothers from December for four months in the districts.
The supplementary food of fortified corn-soya blend and vegetable oil will complement general WFP food distributions in Kenya because of drought and persistent high food prices.
ECHO has continued to support WFP efforts to fight hunger in Kenya and earlier this year provided a $US4.4 million donation to feed refugees in camps in the Northwest and Northeast.
WFP is the world\\\’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. In 2009, WFP aims to feed 108 million people in 74 countries.