New Zealand Calls for Donations to Assist Drought-Stricken Kenya

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ChildFund New Zealand and Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand are calling for urgent donations to provide emergency food and water aid to children and their families in drought-stricken Turkana, Kenya, following a pledge from the New Zealand Government to match the funds they secure.

Every dollar raised by ChildFund and Caritas will be matched by the New Zealand Government up to a total contribution of $250,000, doubling the impact of the humanitarian response.

“In Turkana, Kenya – where we are focusing our support, particularly low levels of rainfall have devastated crops and increased disease in livestock. Conditions continue to worsen and we are already seeing the negative impacts on health and nutrition particularly in young children,” explains ChildFund New Zealand CEO Paul Brown.

Mr. Brown says the ‘New Zealand’ response has been specifically designed by ChildFund and Caritas to address gaps in the urgent assistance already being given by Kenya’s Government and other humanitarian partners. ChildFund and Caritas hope their combined efforts will raise over half a million dollars to help the most vulnerable in the Turkana county.

“Our two-pronged approach will see Caritas provide urgent food to the most vulnerable house-holds, while ChildFund will provide access to nutritious food for pre-school children and pregnant and lactating mothers; two of the most at risk groups in the community.

“Our aim is to bridge the gap until the rains come and the next harvest is due in August,” he says.

As part of the coordinated response, 800 households will receive rations of dry food including maize, beans and oil to see them through to the next harvest. The response will also give increased access to nutritious food such as Unimix, a fortified porridge, and fortified cooking oil, to 1000 children below five years old, as well as take home rations for 200 pregnant and lactating women.

Looking long-term, New Zealand funds will also help increase access to safe drinking water through the building of a borehole and creating five easily accessible water points in the community. In addition, parents will be given well-being training to help them ensure the wellness of their children through health, nutrition, education and child protection services.

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand Director Julianne Hickey says the two organisations are well-placed to respond to the crisis.

“Caritas has established long term relationships in the communities and will utilise these to make a sustained impact for the people of Turkana. We are looking forward to working with ChildFund so that the collective impact is greater,” she says.

Mr. Brown continues: “Our local partners are well placed to provide up-to-date knowledge of the needs of the communities there. The collaboration allows for a stronger response and puts New Zealand donations to better use, so we can make the maximum impact for children and their families.

“By supporting this project New Zealanders can see their donations make a real difference to children and their families in Turkana,” he concludes.

Just $48 will help provide clean water and emergency food supplies like Unimix to four children in Turkana, Kenya. Every dollar donated, will be matched by the New Zealand Government – meaning New Zealand donations will go much further.


Source: Scoop independent news

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