Kenya has got 21,366 Metric Tonnes (MT) of parboiled rice worth Sh2.25 billion to fight hunger, from China in donations. 450,000 50kg bags of parboiled rice will be received at the Port of Mombasa by the Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri and the Chinese Ambassador to Kenya, Dr Liu Xianfa tomorrow. The consignment will ease the hunger faced by the residents in several parts of the country. “I note with appreciation that the Government of the People’s Republic of China has come to our aid. This rice will be freely distributed to hunger-stricken Kenyans throughout the country,” said Mr Kiunjuri. He added that the first batch of 100,000 bags is already in the country, and the next batches will arrive in July and August. The donation, he said, will feed affected communities for the next six months. “I thank the government of China for coming to our aid at this time when drought is affecting the large number of our citizens,” he said while observing that the economy in the drought hit regions has slowed down.
Kenyan President Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta had declared the drought a national disaster and made an emergency appeal for food aid from the international community in February this year. The East African Nation has been grappling with drought that has affected an estimated 3 million people in 23 counties. The government has set aside funds to support mitigation measures that include distribution of food rations, water and medicine to drought victims. Mr. Mwangi Kiunjuri revealed that the situation was a result of a poorly distributed rainfall in October/December 2016 that was predicted by Kenya Metrological Services. To address the issue, the government had formed the Inter Ministerial Technical Committee to coordinate mitigation activities and the Committee had come up with a three-phase response strategy that was approved by the Cabinet.