The United Nations headquarters in Kenya on Monday launched a charity drive to help millions of people facing starvation in their host country.
The ‘Hunger is not an option’ campaign was launched by Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UN-HABITAT in her capacity as Director General of the United Nations Office in Nairobi (UNON).
She appealed to staff members, who number an estimated 3,000, to purchase food vouchers so that the Red Cross can help feed as many people as possible.
“Hunger is not an option,” she said. “But at the moment for 10 million people it is a reality. And as a UN family we have to grapple with the underlying issues. There is food in this country, but the real problem is access.”
A representative of the Kenya Red Cross, Mr. Abdi Noor, said that the famine crisis in Kenya was unprecedented because of a combination of failed rains, and violence and displacement following disputed 2007 presidential elections.
“This therefore means that even areas that have usually been food independent have now been forced to rely on food aid,” he said.
On a separate matter, Mrs. Tibaijuka announced that the World Health Organization in cooperation with the Governments of Italy and Switzerland, would send two surgeons who specialize in burns to Nairobi to help treat the victims of a devastating fire that hit downtown Nairobi last week.
Outside of Vienna and Geneva, Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, is home to one of three headquarters of the world body outside the global HQ in New York.