Kenya thankful for China’s food donation
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Kenya thankful for China’s food donation

Posted by | April 7, 2017 |

November 17, 2018

Kenya is the latest beneficiary of a series of food donations from China that have been provided to African countries to help the continent mitigate food insecurity resulting from changes in weather patterns.

Beijing has announced a donation of 21,000 metric tons of rice worth Ksh2.25 billion ($21.9 million; 20.5 million euros; 17.5 million) to be distributed to hunger-ravaged Kenyans in 23 counties. The first shipment of food is expected to arrive in Kenya in about a month.

According to Henry Rotich, Kenya’s treasury secretary, approximately 3 million Kenyans in both rural and urban areas are at risk of starvation.

The Chinese government responded to Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta’s appeal in February for food aid from the international community, after declaring drought in the country a national disaster.

According to the national treasury, approximately 3 million Kenyans in both urban and rural areas are affected. Children under 5 years and expectant and lactating mothers are highly vulnerable to malnutrition.

“I wish to thank the government of China for the quick response to the president’s appeal,” Rotich said. The grant will go a long way toward supplementing the ongoing government efforts addressing the food crisis.”

Rotich says the Kenyan government is working with the Chinese government on long-term mitigation measures like irrigation programs in drought-prone areas.

Liu Xianfa, the Chinese ambassador to Kenya, says the donated rice will be able to support 1.4 million people for a month on average.

“China has always paid attention to the drought situation in Kenya. For the past three years, we have been mobilizing the Chinese community in the country to support drought victims through food and water donations.

Since late last year, the Chinese government has donated rice to several African countries to help them mitigate the food crisis. Beneficiaries include Uganda, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Sierra Leone.

Toward the end of February, Beijing donated 5,983 tons of rice worth Ksh22 billion ($6.1 million; 5.7 million euros; 4.9 million) to Uganda to support drought-stricken people in the country.

About 10.9 million Ugandans are experiencing acute food shortages, while 1.6 million have no food at all, according to Uganda Food Security Outlook for June through January.

Food security is attributed to prolonged severe drought, which has affected crop production, leading to increased food prices.

In September, the Chinese government donated 19,000 tons of rice worth $24.6 million to Zimbabwe. About 4 million people in the country are in need of food aid.

It also promised to donate 10,000 tons of urea fertilizer to be distributed to the farmers who were to take part in a government maize production program to produce 2 million tons of grain.

Handing over the donation, Chinese Ambassador Huang Ping was quoted by Xinhua News Agency as saying the grant was a fulfilment of the drought-relief pledge made to affected African countries by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit held in South Africa in December 2015.

“Today’s event testifies to the strong ties between China and Zimbabwe as all-weather partners, especially in the area of food security and agriculture,” Huang said.

Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone Wu Ping told Agriculture Minister Monty Jones recently that China will donate 6,300 tons of rice, equivalent to 126,000 50-kilogram bags of rice.

By the end of last year, China donated 6,000 tons of rice to be distributed to 271,266 households in 16 of 24 districts affected by drought in Malawi.

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