NAIROBI, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations said on Tuesday that Kenya's food security situation is improving as the drought caused by four consecutive failed rain seasons eases.
Carla Mucavi, the FAO representative to Kenya, told Xinhua in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi that the food insecure population has reduced from 4.8 million to an estimated 1.5 million people, mostly in the arid and semi-arid counties.
"Rainfall in the arid areas has improved vegetation for livestock, and this has reduced the effects of drought," Mucavi said on the sidelines of an event during which the Mikoko Pamoja coastal community was awarded the UN in Kenya Person of the Year 2023 for forest protection efforts.
Mucavi said the onset of the October-December rains is expected to further improve the food security situation in the country as farmers will record enhanced harvests.
She revealed that the FAO has partnered with the Kenyan government and donors to boost the resilience of communities affected by drought. These interventions include providing animal feed, conducting livestock vaccinations, and offering cash transfers to pastoralists to increase food security. - Xinhua
Rwanda has sent humanitarian aid to Gaza, displaying solidarity with Palestinian civilians hurt in the war between Israeli and the militant group Hamas.
A Rwandair Cargo plane carrying 16 tons of medicine, food, and water, touched down in Jordan en route to Gaza on a Friday.
The assistance is expected to reach Gaza through Egypt due to an Israeli blockade preventing direct aid deliveries directly from Jordan.
On Friday the UN said it had brokered a deal for the initial 20 trucks of aid to enter Gaza through the Rafah crossing from Egypt, becoming the first such delivery since the war began on October 7.
"The Government of Rwanda, through the Jordan Hashemite Charity Organization acting on behalf of the Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, has provided humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people in Gaza," Yolande Makolo, Rwanda Government Spokesperson, told The EastAfrican.
"The donation in support of the international relief effort underway was received in Amman on Friday, the 20th, and consists of 16 tons of foodstuff, including fortified food for children, medicines, and medical consumables."
She also reiterated "the need for de-escalation to protect the lives of innocent civilians."
The death toll in Gaza has risen to 4,137 following an Israeli rocket bombardment on Gaza, according to the Gaza health ministry, while the UN says that the humanitarian situation has reached "catastrophic levels."
When Hamas, the militant group that governs Gaza Strip, attacked Israel on October 7 and killed 1,400 people, including children and women, Rwanda condemned the attack and sent condolences to Israel.
The militants also captured 120 hostages, some of whom have been released.
"Rwanda extends its deepest condolences and sympathy to the Government and the People of Israel following the terror attacks in Israeli territory on October 7, 2023, leading to the loss of many lives, numerous injuries, and the abduction of hostages," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on October 8.
"Rwanda condemns this act of terror, particularly the targeting of innocent civilians. The current situation is worrying and requires urgent de-escalation."
On Friday, Rwanda's State Minister for Regional Cooperation James Kabarebe met with Israeli Ambassador Einat Weiss to discuss "further strengthening of cooperation between the two countries".
The escalating conflict between Gaza and Israel, which has claimed thousands of lives, has divided African nations, with some supporting Israel and others expressing support for Palestine.
The most vocal support for Palestine was voiced by South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, who reiterated "South Africa's solidarity with the Palestinian people" while wearing the keffiyeh, a symbol of Palestinian nationalism.
Uganda's President, Yoweri Museveni, condemned "the practice of targeting civilians and non-combatants by the belligerents" and called for a two-state solution. "The outbreak of renewed violence in Israel-Palestine is regrettable. Why don't the two sides implement the two-state solution?" he questioned.
Kenya's William Ruto condemned the attacks on Israel by Hamas and reiterated support for Israel. "Kenya joins the rest of the world in solidarity with the State of Israel and unequivocally condemns terrorism and attacks on innocent civilians in the country," Ruto said." - IVAN R. MUGISHA, The EastAfrican
(Juba, 16 October 2023) Six months since the outbreak of the conflict in Sudan on 15 April, thousands of people fleeing the fighting are still arriving in South Sudan daily.
“Nobody had imagined that six months on, we would still be witnessing such large daily inflows,” said Marie-Helene Verney, Acting Humanitarian Coordinator to South Sudan.
Since the start of the conflict, South Sudan has received more than 310,000 new arrivals from Sudan as of 13 October, including South Sudanese returnees (over 90 per cent), refugees and third-country nationals. The influx is expected to continue. Many new arrivals are extremely vulnerable and in need of immediate assistance.
“As the weeks go by, people arrive with less and less resources and in increasingly worse states of health, with malnutrition also on the rise among new arrivals as conditions in Sudan deteriorate further,” emphasized Marie-Helene Verney.
Poor infrastructure and in particular lack of roads, flooding and funding constraints are severely testing the capacity of humanitarian actors to respond both at the border and in receiving communities, as well as putting pressure on onward transportation, which remains the most critical need in this response. IOM and other humanitarian partners have assisted approximately 150,000 people to move on to final destinations so far. The Government of South Sudan has also provided transport to thousands, while many others have made their own way to their communities.
South Sudan continues to face overlapping crises, including floods, conflict and food insecurity – all of which adversely affect the resilience and vulnerability of people across the country. The ongoing Sudan crisis has had a dramatic negative impact on the already fragile humanitarian situation. Disruptions in cross-border trade and humanitarian corridors have led to increased prices of food and commodities, particularly in the northern half of the country where most of the new arrivals are settling. This has worsened food insecurity and compounded acute humanitarian needs for the existing population, as well as the new arrivals.
Additional humanitarian access constraints, such as increased threats against humanitarian personnel and looting of assets, continue to challenge the already difficult humanitarian response.
“This crisis has stretched the humanitarian response in South Sudan close to breaking point. With no end in sight, a global decrease in humanitarian funding and more new conflicts breaking out around the world, humanitarian partners are increasingly forced to deprioritize even life-saving activities. In such a context, the Government of South Sudan is called upon to step up the delivery of basic services in vulnerable communities, with the support of development actors,” underscored the Acting Humanitarian Coordinator.
Even as the global context worsens, additional funding is needed by the end of the year to provide life-saving nutrition services to thousands of children arriving from Sudan with moderate and severe acute malnutrition, as well as access to adequate water, sanitation and hygiene services and facilities. Additional funding is also needed to provide adequate space in overcrowded transit centres to reduce the risks of disease outbreaks and gender-based violence. Additional funding will also support children fleeing the war in Sudan to resume learning and help reduce protection risks, such as child marriage, child labor and recruitment of child soldiers. - United Nations OCHA
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