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Kenya’s election approaches

As the first election under Kenya’s new constitution approaches, Concern Worldwide and other aid agencies are preparing emergency plans as a safeguard against potential unrest. Concern's Ivy Ndiewo tells us more.

Last general elections

The results of the 2008 general election were disputed, and the nation exploded into political and ethnic violence, resulting in over 1,500 deaths and the displacement of over 500,000 people. The violence caught the world off-guard, and the humanitarian community launched an emergency response.

Contingency plans

Today, humanitarian organisations, including Concern Worldwide, are working with the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and Kenya’s National Disaster Operations Center to set up contingency plans in the event of civil unrest.

Concern in Nairobi

Eight humanitarian hubs have been set up across the country and we are leading the Nairobi hub. We’ve mapped out potential hot spots and trained our staff.

We will work with the Kenyan government and UNICEF to address malnutrition and support livelihoods in slum communities in Nairobi and Kisumu. If violence occurs, it is anticipated that malnutrition among children and breastfeeding mothers will soar because food will be less available. Food available in the markets is likely to be too expensive for the poorest people.

We are putting supplies in place to manage malnutrition at health facilities throughout the slums. We have trained staff to identify and treat malnutrition. If needed, we will provide these services throughout the 102 health facilities that we currently support.

Preventing malnutrition

It’s not just about treating malnutrition; we also need to prevent it. We are ready to help 3,000 families meet their food needs for up to three months with cash transfers. We’re also working with supermarket suppliers so that we can provide people with food directly.

The memory of 2008 is still very fresh. As a humanitarian community we stand prepared, but we welcome an outcome that would require none of our plans to be put into action.