, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 30 – The government has launched a Sh42.6 billion Emergency Humanitarian Response Plan (EHRP) seeking to address the plight of refugees and vulnerable people in the country.
Special Programmes Assistant Minister Mohamed Ali Mohamud said on Tuesday that the strategy would ensure that the plight of internally displaced persons and refugees was addressed.
He called on all development partners to support the initiative.
“The activities of humanitarian partners in Kenya are based on highly vulnerable populations affected by natural and man-made disasters,” he said. “We need to ensure the early recovery of populations affected by natural and manmade disasters and using targeted disaster approaches.”
Mr Mohamud further said that a number of disaster policies seeking to address humanitarian needs in the country are in the final stages of development.
He stated that several government policies were geared at reducing the suffering of the affected people.
“I am satisfied to note that the Emergency Humanitarian Response Plan provides a good balance for the National Disaster Management Policy and the National Policy on the prevention of internal displacement and protection and assistance to internally displaced persons in Kenya,” he said.
He explained that the policies would ensure that thorough civic education is carried out on disaster risk management to reduce humanitarian risk.
At the same time, UNDP Kenya Resident Representative Aeneas Chuma said that the three-year plan will ensure early recovery of populations affected by natural and manmade disasters.
He said that it will go a long way in reducing the number of people in need across the country.
“The country faces both distinct and interdependent humanitarian phases that require appropriate responses to address emergency measures priorities and medium term plans,” he stated.
He pointed out that it will further enhance community resilience using disaster risk reduction approaches to reduce disasters.
He observed that the strategy will seek to improve dialogue between the government and development partners in addressing vulnerability issues.
During the same event, a non-governmental organisation stressed the need for strengthening the humanitarian structures in the country. According to Concern Worldwide, climatic conditions and culture are to blame for the deteriorating conditions in the country.
Country Director Anne Mahony said the humanitarian situation in Kenya needs to be addressed as fast as possible before it deteriorates further.
“We are seeing that there is a need for continued humanitarian assistance in Kenya. We have seen in recent years that Kenya is in a deadly cocktail of climate change, population growth and a lack of infrastructure,” she stated.
She said areas of focus should include the Arid and Semi Arid Lands.
“We look at the arid and semi arid areas and people are living in abject poverty. Every so often there is a drought which tips them over the edge into a dire humanitarian situation,” she pointed out.
“Then the rains come and they are either adequate for a period of time or they bring floods with them which wash away any infrastructure that may have been put in during the emergency response period,” she added.