NAIROBI, March 21 (Xinhua) -- The World Food Program (WFP) said Tuesday it is ramping up humanitarian support to address critical food shortages in Kenya which is enduring a severe drought.
The WFP on Monday received 41,000 metric tons (mt) of relief food at the port of Mombasa for distribution in Kenya. The shipment consisted of 25,000 mt of wheat and 16,000 mt of sorghum donated by donors ready for delivery to families in need.
"As more Kenyans are affected by the ongoing drought, we are also seeing more refugees fleeing conflict and drought in the Horn of Africa region arriving in the Kenyan camps - all needing urgent assistance," Lauren Landis, WFP's Country Director in Kenya, said in a statement issued in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.
Landis said food insecurity and acute hunger are on the rise following the fifth consecutive failed rainy season which has affected Kenya and the East Africa region.
According to the statement, the shipment is the first for WFP's food assistance programs in Kenya since the signing of the Black Sea Grain Initiative in July 2022, which opened up a maritime humanitarian corridor allowing for the export of food commodities from Ukraine.
"WFP is also elated by the news over the weekend that the Black Sea Grain Initiative has been extended. We call upon the donor community to continue to step up all forms of support during this time of an unprecedented crisis," Landis said.
According to the WFP, 4.4 million Kenyans are currently facing acute hunger and this number could rise to 5.4 million by June. It is estimated that about 130,000 refugees have arrived in the Dadaab camp in northeast Kenya since the onset of the current drought crisis, bringing the total number of refugees in need of food assistance to half a million. ■