Disputed presidential election results announced on Dec. 30 have ignited widespread conflict in this East African nation. An estimated 300,000 people have been displaced, and the crisis continues to primarily affect Kenya's poor and vulnerable.
Ongoing violence also has resulted in the widespread destruction of crops and grain stores, which likely will result in food shortages nationwide.
According to the recently released Kenya Food Security Update — compiled by the U.S. Agency for International Aid, the Kenyan government, and the World Food Program — there is sufficient maize to last through the next seven months, but prices may soon begin to rise. An increase in food prices would be another unneeded burden to consumers in this beleaguered East African nation.
Kenya's 'Bread Basket,' the Rift Valley region, has borne the brunt of the violence, World Vision's team reports. Additionally, the government has had to dip into food reserves to help feed the tens of thousands of displaced children and families living in temporary resettlement camps.
Meanwhile, in partnership with churches, local nongovernmental groups, the Kenya Red Cross Society, and other international aid organizations, we are distributing milk, bread, maize meal, and lentils, as well as blankets, mosquito nets, water containers, tarps, soap, and kitchen sets to nearly 155,000 displaced people.
Our relief operations are focused on assisting children and families most affected by post-election violence in Nairobi, Nakuru, Narok, Mombasa, and Kisumu townships.
More than 60,000 children are among the estimated 250,000 people who have been rendered homeless by the violence. Twenty percent of Kenya's children are already underweight for their age, and access to water, food, health care, and education is difficult in impoverished communities. Now, they face even greater, potentially life-threatening challenges.
"In one day, Nairobi Women's Hospital admitted eight girls who had been raped; the youngest was 12 years old," says Kasimbu.
Violent demonstrations since Dec. 30 have led to more than 800 deaths, numerous injuries, and the destruction of property in many locations across Kenya. Moreover, the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees estimates that some 5,000 people have fled to neighboring countries such as Uganda and Tanzania to escape the violence.
Meanwhile, Kenya's turmoil continues to affect the flow of humanitarian supplies to regional hotspots such as Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and southern Sudan. Neighboring countries also depend on Kenya for services, manufactured goods, and the use of Mombasa, a port city, for the flow of trade — making Kenya's continued instability a threat to the region's economic development.
World Vision is calling for a cessation of hostilities, protection of children, women, and other civilians, and safe passage of humanitarian staff in affected areas.
>> Please pray for the protection of vulnerable families, World Vision staff, and others involved in delivering humanitarian aid. Pray also for a peaceful end to this crisis and healing for traumatized women and children who have suffered abuse, as well as those who have lost loved ones in the violence.
>> Donate now to World Vision's Disaster Response Fund. Your contribution will help World Vision deliver aid to desperate families and children affected by crises and disasters, like the post-election violence in Kenya.
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