Executive Office of the Deputy President of Republic of Kenya

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has sent out an appeal to partners for support in scaling in up the school meal programme as the drought response kitty received a shot in the arm.
Speaking at the Port of Mombasa when he received 25,000MT of wheat and 16,000MT of sorghum from Ukraine, Mr Gachagua spoke of an  urgent need for more support  to the school meals programme to help keep children from drought and famine affected areas in school.
“Many children have dropped out of  school because of hunger. I am sending a  special appeal to our partners to  chip in and support the school meal programme so we can secure the future of these children,” he said.

The World Food Programme handed over the school meal programme to the Government in 2018. But with the prolonged drought- the longest in 40 years – more children have become vulnerable as the government has limited resources.
“The programme continues to be beneficial since  2018. It, however, faces challenges in reach.
While the World Food Programme has committed to supporting us in resource mobilisation to reach more children, we appeal to other partners to join us in keeping the children in school. It is one of the ways of securing their future,” said the DP.
The wheat, which was delivered from Ukraine by the WFP, was bought with funds from the United Kingdom, Norway, Belgium, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, Slovenia, and Czech Republic.
The 16,000MT of sorghum was bought by the United States of America through USAID.

The event was attended by ambassadors from the donating countries.
The Deputy President immediately flagged off the food to the affected counties which

left the Port of Mombasa for North Eastern counties and other pockets of other areas traditionally not classified as arid and semi arid regions, he said.
The Government  has been working with more than 90 national and international organisations in mitigating famine since it was declared a disaster in 2021.
Currently, at least 5.4 million Kenyans are facing starvation while more than 2.6 million livestock have died.
The Deputy President said the government has set aside about Sh23.8 billion for diverse mitigation measures including water trucking, cash and food transfers, livestock  feeds, among others between April and October, 2023.
“While these short term and midterm responses remain key, we are scaling up resilient interventions alongside our partners like World Food Programme, which is working with smallholder farmers in building a strong food security system. We welcome more support on resilience from our partners,” he said at the Mombasa Port function.
The Deputy President also appealed to farmers to integrate smart agriculture alongside growing of quick maturing and drought tolerant crops.
In addition, he asked citizens to grow more trees during these rains as a sustainable measure against climate change.
“If we must defeat climate change, it is befitting to grow at least a tree a day towards our goal of 15 billion trees by 2032,” Mr Gachagua said.
Ambassadors of most of these countries, which made contributions were present during the flagging-off.