Prolonged drought -- dubbed the worst in 60 years -- coupled with soaring global food prices and deteriorating livestock prices has caused a severe food crisis in East Africa (namely in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia). The crisis is characterized as the worst the world has seen since the Great Chinese Famine of the late 1950s. In Kenya, food shortages have reached critical levels and the Kenyan government has declared a national emergency.
While Northern Kenya has been particularly hard hit with a flood of refugees entering from Somalia, people throughout the country are also being affected by the soaring cost of food. In Nairobi’s already vulnerable informal settlements, where most households live on less than a dollar a day, families are unable to afford the cost of food.
St. Vincent’s Response
St. Vincent’s is witnessing the effects of the crisis, as most families of our nursery school children are running out of food. Even under normal circumstances, the two daily meals that our nursery school children receive are sometimes the only meals during the week that children receive. On a typical day, we see children lining up at our gates up to an hour early, eager to receive their first meal of the day which is often times the first meal they've received since lunch the previous day. Under these circumstances, these children and their families are at even great risk.
St. Vincent’s is responding to the crisis by extending our school calendar by at least one week into the summer break so that children can continue to receive the two daily meals provided as part of our program. In addition to the school meals, St. Vincent’s has increased by 50% the number of HIV-affected nursery school families provided with take home food baskets. Adequate food supply is particularly critical for HIV-affected families, as people taking ARVs require a balanced diet for the medication to be effective.
We would like to thank you, our donors, for making this added support possible. Every dollar donated to St. Vincent's goes directly to our programs and is critical to the continuation of our operations.
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