Country: Kenya

Africa: Giving communities a voice in disaster response

National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies across Africa are set to improve the way they work with people affected by disasters, thanks to a newly trained team of community engagement and accountability (CEA) specialists who are ready to be deployed whenever and wherever needed.

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Mobile cash reduces hunger, boosts local economies in Kenya

Nairobi/Geneva, 10 July 2017 – An innovative, mobile phone-driven cash programme has helped prevent nearly 250,000 people from slipping into severe food insecurity in drought-ravaged Kenya. The Kenya Red Cross Society has given monthly grants of 3,000 Kenya Shillings (about 28 Swiss francs) to more than 41,000 drought-affected families spread across 13 counties over the past three months. The money is primarily transferred using the M-Pesa mobile phone-based money transfer service. “This programme is transforming the way we respond to emergencies in Kenya,” said Dr Abbas Gullet, Secretary General, Kenya Red Cross Society. “Even in very remote parts of the country, mobile phones are widely accessible. It makes it very easy for people to access money and, more importantly, it gives them choice and flexibility in how they spend their money. “It helps them maintain a sense of dignity, which is not always the case in humanitarian operations.” The Kenya Food Security Steering Group’s Mid-Season Long Rains Assessment estimates that 3.5 million people are in need of emergency food relief in Kenya. The crisis in Kenya is largely driven by prolonged drought, but is also influenced by underlying poverty and poor preparedness for these kinds of predictable and cyclical emergencies. An evaluation of the Red Cross’s drought programme has found that families receiving mobile cash are eating more often, and from a more diverse menu. More than 60 per cent...

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About the IFRC

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is the world's largest humanitarian network and is guided by seven Fundamental Principles: Humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, universality and unity.