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The BBC's Cathy Jenkins
"WFP has appealed to donors"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 5 July, 2000, 17:50 GMT 18:50 UK
Kenya drought warning
Family
Families face hunger across the horn of Africa
More than three million Kenyans are threatened with starvation after a series of droughts, according to the World Food Programme.

The WFP has launched an urgent appeal for $88 million in food aid, and said a quick response was needed because existing emergency food stocks would run out by August.

Kenya is suffering one of its worst droughts in decades.

Seasonal long rains failed this year and in the northern and eastern regions of the country 80% of the livestock has already died.

The WFP's deputy country director for Kenya, David Fletcher, says people are selling their camels, cattle and goats for knock-down prices.

"In some parts some people are down to their last goat," he said.

Many of those affected are pastoralists who graze cattle and goats in the semi-desert scrub.

Fighting

Kenya, according to WFP officials, is second only to Ethiopia in the number of people who need emergency food because of the drought.

Correspondents say the drought has been exacerbated by inter-clan fighting in the north of the country.

Hundreds of people have been killed in clashes between the Pokot, Borana and Turkana tribes.

A new food distribution has been put in place to ensure food reaches the needy.

"We need some pledges quickly because otherwise we are going to have this system which works but with nothing to put in it," Mr Fletcher said.

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See also:

15 Jun 00 | Africa
UN highlights Horn crisis
17 Apr 00 | Africa
Famine threat across the Horn
31 Mar 00 | Africa
Is aid really helping?
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