Action Against Hunger Responds to Crisis in Kenya
In the aftermath of the disputed presidential election, as many as 30,000 Kenyans have streamed into this provincial capital located just 2 hours (150 km) north of Nairobi. Action Against Hunger (ACF-USA), the first international non-governmental organization currently operating in Nakuru, just completed an emergency assessment of the situation and has begun to provide immediate humanitarian assistance to the growing population of internally displaced people.
For the moment, relief efforts are focused on the provision of clean water, sanitation, and the distribution of such essential non-food items as blankets, soap, and clothing. Youcef Hammache, ACF-USA Desk Officer, reports that “with the political situation still uncertain and an estimated 2,500 people arriving each day, [they] are carefully monitoring the nutritional situation to watch for signs of malnutrition in children under five.” In addition to the relief efforts in Nakuru, ACF-USA has begun to conduct similar operations out of its Nairobi offices. The organization is also monitoring the situation in western Kenya from across the border in Uganda, where it also has active programs. So far, they have observed relatively limited cross-border movements of people, mostly restricted to those with resources or family residing in Uganda.
Since 2002, Action Against Hunger has been operating programs in Kenya. In Mandera and Garissa Districts, ACF-USA runs comprehensive emergency nutrition programs. The work in this region, located in North Eastern Province near the Somalia border, continues unimpeded by the turmoil in the capital.