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Hundreds of thousands of children suffer the consequences of the post-election crisis in Kenya

NAIROBI, 16 January 2008 - UNICEF estimates that at least 100,000 children have been displaced in Kenya since the crisis began with as many as 75,000 children living in over 100 camps for displaced people. In addition many thousands more displaced children and their families are believed to have found temporary accommodation with other family members. 

UNICEF’s response to the crisis has focused on immediate life saving interventions including water, sanitation, shelter, health and nutrition as well as the protection of children and helping to re-establish children’s access to education. 

Although schools have re-opened, far fewer children are turning up for class. The constant movement of displaced families has made it difficult to set up temporary classrooms.  It is hoped that assessments will indicate the number and location of children unable to access schools. UNICEF has more than 30 classroom tents and school in a box kits, and more on order, ready to set up wherever needed. The agency has already dispatched recreation supplies for 7,000 children to camps for displaced families in Nairobi, Nakuru and Eldoret.  Distribution of a further 75 recreation kits to the worst affected communities is also underway.

The children’s agency has helped set up water and sanitation facilities in the largest camps in Eldoret, Nakuru, and Nairobi, including provision of temporary latrines, water storage tanks, buckets, chlorine and other water and sanitation supplies benefiting 50,000 people.

Emergency health supplies benefiting more than 100,000 people have been dispatched to Eldoret and Kisumu.

UNICEF is helping Ministry of Health staff to set up and run screening centres in several camps to identify and treat malnourished children.  Emergency measles and polio vaccination is underway along with de-worming and distribution of Vitamin A – all aimed at reducing vulnerability to disease and malnutrition.

The protection of children poses some of the greatest challenges. Working with local NGOs, UNICEF is helping to set up systems for reporting abuses and identifying children at risk. Priority is being given to the reunification of families, the establishment of safe play areas for children, as well as the protection of girls and women from violence.

Some 1500 treatment kits to prevent HIV infection as a consequence of rape have been dispatched to Eldoret and other locations.

Working with the government, other UN agencies, the Kenya Red Cross, and other NGOs, UNICEF has supported assessments to identify the most essential needs of displaced children and their families. 

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For more information and interviews with UNICEF Representative Olivia Yambi and UNICEF staff in the field, please contact:

Sara Cameron, Chief Communication, UNICEF Kenya, Tel +254722585262 scameron@unicef.org

Patrick McCormick, UNICEF New York, Tel +212 326 7426, pmccormick@unicef.org

Veronique Taveau, UNICEF Geneva, Tel +41 22 909 5716, vtaveau@unicef.org





10 January 2008:
Digital Diarist Fatuma Roba tells UNICEF Radio about the surprise she found on her visit to a makeshift camp for displaced people in Kibera, Nairobi.
 AUDIO listen

10 January 2008:
UNICEF Kenya Nutrition Specialist Linda Beyer shares her concerns for the future of displaced Kenyans.
   AUDIO listen

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