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President Ruto calls for more response as drought worsens

President William Ruto has called for scale up of interventions to tackle the current drought in the country.

He said the response must be urgent to avert “widespread distress and suffering” as the crisis is worsening. He identified the priority areas as enhanced food assistance, cash transfers, health and nutrition interventions.

Other interventions, he went on, include sustained water supply, livestock feeds, school feeding programmes and peace and security initiatives.

The President was speaking on Thursday at State House, Nairobi, during the launch of the 2022 Short Rains (October to December) Assessment Report.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, Cabinet Secretaries, Diplomats, the National Steering Committee on Drought Response and the private sector were present.

President Ruto said Sh6 billion has been set aside in the latest Supplementary Budget to respond to the drought between February and May. The amount will be supplemented by the private sector-led National Steering Committee on Drought Response that has so far raised Sh650 million. However, this may not be enough.

The President told the session that more than Sh15.35 billion is required for urgent life-saving interventions. “We call on international partners, the private sector and well-wishers to help us bridge this resource gap that will help in building long-term resilience.”

He committed to the full accounting of every coin donated for humanitarian aid in the country. To cushion the country against such a disaster in future, the Deputy President said the Government has adopted a long-term measure.

He said irrigation and the ongoing ecological restoration in the country will sustainably help rehabilitate the environment and reverse the effects of climate change.

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