By Devendra Kamarajan
NAIROBI (IDN) – The Government of Kenya, the United Nations and humanitarian partners have launched a Flash Appeal requesting $267.5 million to respond to the most immediate and critical needs of 10.1 million people.
Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury and Planning, Ukur Yatani Kanacho, said: “When times are challenging you get to know your friends better. I would like to commend the Kenya United Nations Country Team and humanitarian partners for being real friends and fighting with us shoulder to shoulder as we fight this deadly pandemic.”
“We will stand in full solidarity with the Government and people of Kenya in the fight against COVID-19,” said the UN Resident Coordinator in Kenya, Siddharth Chatterjee. “This Flash Appeal is a clear expression of our solidarity as we mobilize support to accelerate our COVID-19 response in Kenya in lockstep with the Government,” he added.
The Appeal is seeking to mobilize emergency funding for UN agencies and NGOs to complement the Kenyan Government’s preparedness and response efforts for the next six months. The funds will be used to support public health responses to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country and provide targeted humanitarian assistance and protection to the most vulnerable and at-risk communities
From the current UN Development Assistance Framework to Kenya 2018-2020, the UN family has redeployed US$ 45 million to support Kenya in its response to the COVID 19 pandemic. The UN has also deployed over 70 staff and volunteers to assist the Government of Kenya.
Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and ASAL, Eugene Wamalwa, said during the launch: “This Flash Appeal is much appreciated. Coming on the heels of several natural disasters since 2016 this appeal aims to bring humanitarian relief at a time where we are all stretched to the limit fighting COVID-19.”
The COVID-19 outbreak in Kenya is occurring in a context of significant chronic vulnerabilities as well as increased humanitarian needs as a result of back-to back droughts, ongoing floods and a locust upsurge.
“We believe Kenya is at an important tipping point and that together we can move this into the right direction. We are confident that together we can flatten the COVID-19 curve and diminish the threat in Kenya while continuing to strengthen our health systems, and economy. We thank the UN and all our partners for their support,” Chief Administrative Secretary for Health Dr Rashid Aman said.
The UN and NGO partners’ response is focused towards saving lives and preventing loss of livelihoods.
In addition to the immediate and direct public health emergency response, the Flash Appeal has prioritized the continued delivery of basic essential services as well as the protection of livelihood assets and food support to the most vulnerable communities. The response is about ensuring access to essential health care, education, protection, services for women children and vulnerable communities, including people with HIV, displaced populations, people in high concentration areas in urban and peri-urban areas, refugees, and people affected by floods and the locust upsurge.
The continuity of humanitarian operations will be critical and would rely on the Government’s support to facilitate internal movement of humanitarian supplies and workers in case of a lockdown; facilitate the operation of humanitarian flights between Nairobi and the refugee camps and vulnerable communities; fast-track and facilitate custom procedures to bring in relief supplies; and facilitate humanitarian access to particularly vulnerable hotspot areas including refugee camps and urban settlements.
The humanitarian community will comply strictly to the regulations put in place by the Government to contain the spread of COVID-19 and only personnel who have complied with quarantine requirements and are trained in safe/physical distancing and equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE) will be deployed. [IDN-InDepthNews – 13 April 2020]
Photo (left to right): Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Ukur Yatani, the Minister of Treasury; UN Resident Coordinator in Kenya, Siddharth Chatterjee; and Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa, the Minister of Devolution. Credit: standardmedia.co.ke
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