Horn of Africa:Kenya calls for joint efforts to mitigate drought
Laaska News August 5,2011
President Mwai Kibaki called on the international community to speedily intervene with regard to the devastating drought in the Horn of Africa region and the Somalia security issue
NAIROBI, Aug. 4 (Xinhua)–The Kenyan government on Thursday called for concerted efforts by the international community to mitigate drought which is ravaging several parts of the east African nation. Speaking in Nairobi when he held discussions with visiting President of the Swiss Confederation Anne-Marie Calmy-Rey, President Mwai Kibaki called on the international community to speedily intervene with regard to the devastating drought in the Horn of Africa region and the Somalia security issue.
Emphasizing that Kenya has made great strides in instituting long-term and sustainable interventions in the crisis, President Kibaki called for concerted efforts by the international community to avert an imminent human catastrophe. The devastating drought ravaging through Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and Djibouti , President Kibaki said, has left over 10 million in the region in dire need of humanitarian assistance.
A heavy influx of Somali refugees have been streaming into Kenya at an estimated rate of 3,000 people per day from the drought and war ravaged country. According to a statement issued after the meeting, the Kenyan leader noted that Kenya was also eager to host an international conference to explore ways of tackling the ravaging drought in the region in a sustainable manner.
With regard to bilateral relations between the two countries the President called for deepening and expansion of commercial relations to benefit of citizens of the two nations. He told the Swiss Confederation President that Kenya had achieved various milestones in governance and had created an investor friendly environment.
The President noted that his government had implemented and completed key infrastructural projects aimed at consolidating Kenya’s regional position as an economic hub.
President Kibaki expressed appreciation to the Swiss government for the continued financial and technical support to the country’s development agenda. He also noted that Kenya was a member of the East African Community and which was poised to expand with recruitment of South Sudan and Ethiopia as new members in the near future thus creating a huge market.
On her part the President of Swiss Confederation affirmed that the drought situation was genuine and that refugees were living in awful conditions which required urgent attention by the international community. Micheline Anne-Marie Calmy-Rey who toured the refugee camps to assess the situation commended the Kenyan government for hosting the over 400,000 refugees and for the support she had so far extended to them.
The President of Swiss Confederation assured that her government would scale up support to stem further influx of the Somali refugees while at the same time making interventions to avert conflicts with the hosting communities.