US agency imports food aid through Kenya’s Lamu Port
The Lamu Port is a new and ambitious transport corridor project that aims to connect Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia.
It is expected to boost Kenya’s status as a regional hub for trade and development.
Food aid delivery to the North Eastern region
On Thursday, over 300 trucks began to transport 7,286 tonnes of food aid from the Lamu Port to the North Eastern region of Kenya. The food aid consists of 64,589 bags of yellow split peas and 80,000 bags of sorghum. It will benefit the people living in the North Eastern region, as well as the refugees in Dadaab and Kakuma camps.
This is the first local cargo that has been offloaded at the new port and hauled by road. The delivery was made possible despite the security challenges posed by frequent terror attacks in the region.
Role of Kenya Revenue Authority and USAID
The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) played a key role in facilitating the clearance of the cargo through the Lamu Port. Laurence Siele, the acting southern regional coordinator of KRA, said that this was the first largest local cargo cleared through Lamu, which has been mainly dealing with the transshipment of cargo from feeder ports.
He also said that KRA has completed the geo-fencing of Lamu-Mombasa, Lamu-Garissa-Isiolo-Moyale transit routes in readiness to handle cargo to and from the port to the hinterland. Geo-fencing is a technology that uses GPS or RFID to define geographical boundaries and track the movement of vehicles and goods.
The food aid was imported from the US through the Port of Djibouti by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in collaboration with the World Food Programme (WFP). USAID is an independent agency of the US federal government that is primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid and development assistance.
WFP is an international organization within the United Nations that provides food assistance worldwide. It is the world’s largest humanitarian organization and the leading provider of school meals.
Impact of food aid on hunger and nutrition
The food aid delivered through the Lamu Port will have a positive impact on the hunger and nutrition situation in the North Eastern region of Kenya. According to WFP, about 2.6 million people in Kenya are facing acute food insecurity due to drought, floods, locusts, COVID-19 and conflict.
The food aid will provide a source of protein and energy for the vulnerable populations, especially children, pregnant and lactating women, and people living with HIV/AIDS. It will also support their resilience and livelihoods by enabling them to engage in productive activities such as farming, education and income generation.
The food aid will also contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger, which aims to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture by 2030.
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