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Kenya: UN to launch $40 million consolidated appeal

Briefing notes

Kenya: UN to launch $40 million consolidated appeal

15 January 2008

UNHCR and World Concern yesterday (Monday) began a second distribution of basic commodities to an estimated 3,000 displaced people in Narok, 140 km south-east of Nairobi. In addition, trucks carrying sanitary supplies for up to 20,000 girls and women were dispatched yesterday from Nairobi to major towns in the Rift Valley Province. We expect to deliver nearly 50,000 sanitary packs for 16,000 women and girls in the provincial capital, Nakuru, and another 10,000 packs for 3,300 beneficiaries in Eldoret.

In Narok, the distribution of more than 1,000 family kits consisting of plastic sheeting for shelter, blankets, jerry cans, mosquito nets and kitchen sets is expected to be completed today (Tuesday). The Narok area has an estimated 3,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) who fled their homes following the outbreak of violence in many parts of the country after the announcement of presidential poll results on December 30. Many of the internally displaced targeted for distribution of basic household commodities have taken refuge in about 10 different sites across the district, which is inhabited mainly by the Maasai community. The main challenge for IDPs in this area remains shelter and sanitation. The displaced are sheltering in church compounds, although small numbers of people are also camping at police stations. Many of them are former residents of the Narok area where they were involved in small business.

Last week, UNHCR provided the Kenya Red Cross Society with some 400 family kits for distribution to an estimated 2,000 needy families living mainly in Nairobi's slum areas. A total of 3,200 family kits, for 16,000 people have now been assembled at our warehouses in Nairobi and are ready for dispatch to assist IDPs in the affected provinces.

More UNHCR staff have been dispatched to Nairobi to assist the aid operation for tens of thousands of IDPs in various parts of the country. So far, 10 UNHCR staff have been deployed to support the IDP operation in Kenya. The Kenya government reports that there are an estimated 500 IDP sites scattered mainly in Rift Valley, Western, Nyanza and Nairobi provinces. The sites continue to be transitory in nature with many people moving from the sites to their ancestral areas, where possible, or joining their kin in safer areas. As calm returns to some parts of the country, the government estimates that IDP numbers in sites and community centres have dropped by nearly 50,000 - from 255,000 at the beginning of last week to an estimated 203,000 by the close of last week.

UNHCR is continuing to work with the government, the Kenya Red Cross Society and other NGOs on camp management. Last Friday, UNHCR organized a one-day training session on camp management for NGO staff who are involved in running camps to ensure minimum standards and consistency in the delivery of service. UNHCR expects to sign agreements with a number of organizations to manage sites across the country

UNHCR's budget for the Kenya situation will be $6.4 million - part of a UN consolidated appeal of more than $40 million that is expected to be launched tomorrow in New York. UNHCR's portion will go for protection, delivery of assistance, camp coordination and camp management, and emergency shelter. Money will also be devoted to HIV/AIDS projects.

In neighbouring Uganda, meanwhile, the number of people who have crossed the border from Kenya has now reached more than 6,100, according to Ugandan authorities. Refugees have gathered in several eastern border districts, including Manafwa, Busia, Malaba and Bukwo around Mt Elgon. The refugees are staying in schools and other public facilities, and with host families. Ugandan authorities want to move refugees to a temporary site in Mulanda. UNHCR will provide transportation from the border districts to Mulanda. We will continue to channel assistance to the refugees through the Uganda Red Cross.