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World Vision Sounds Alarm as Kenya Faces Drought, Hunger Crisis


Nairobi, Kenya, September 10, 2009 --(PR.com)-- Nearly 4 million people lack food; aid organization only able to reach 400,000 with current funding

"The situation is only going to get worse this month," relief director warns

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.

World Vision is already helping more than 400,000 people with food security and other humanitarian interventions in six districts throughout Kenya, including providing therapeutic and supplementary feeding programs for 22,300 children and pregnant and lactating mothers. The supplementary feeding program for children and mothers is part of a joint program with the Kenyan Ministry of Health and the World Food Program (WFP).

"We are making a difference, but the needs far exceed available resources, and the situation is only going to get worse this month," said Thomas Solomon, World Vision’s deputy national director in Kenya. "Many poor households have already resorted to skipping meals, and there has been a decline in attendance at schools in hard-hit areas."

World Vision is also implementing recovery projects in 18 areas of Kenya to enhance access to safe drinking water and improve hygiene and sanitation. These projects aim to promote the use of conservation farming and water harvesting, which are key to helping vulnerable communities adapt to climate change. The organization is also advocating for a shift from reliance on rain-fed farming to the utilization of irrigation farming.

Corn maize, the staple food for the majority of Kenyans, is currently priced at between 80 to120 percent above normal. The projected harvest from the long rains remains 28 percent below normal, but scarce rains in the grain basket districts could drive this estimate down further, according to World Vision. Acute water shortages not only endanger the lives and health of people but also livestock, which is one of the primary sources of income for Kenyans.

World Vision began operating in Kenya in 1974 during a time of severe drought and famine that affected most parts of the country. Currently, the organization serves in all eight provinces of Kenya, focusing on both long-term development and emergency relief.

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World Vision staff are available for interviews. Please contact Rachel Wolff at +1.253.394.2214 or RWolff@worldvision.org.

According to a recent assessment by Kenyan authorities, the United Nations, and local NGOs, nearly 3.8 million Kenyans currently lack sufficient food, due in large part to an especially harsh drought exacerbating already difficult conditions, Christian relief agency World Vision warned today. The humanitarian group is seeking funding for desperately-needed emergency interventions, including food aid and longer-term sustainable interventions for millions of Kenyans.
Contact Information
World Vision
Rachel Wolff
253.394.2214
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www.worldvision.org/press

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