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Flash Appeal Launched in Kenya to Combat COVID-19 pandemic 

Nairobi, 13 April 2020 - The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has jointly supported the development of a comprehensive Flash Appeal with other UN agencies and humanitarian partners to combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in Kenya.

The UN launched the Flash Appeal on Thursday (9 April), requesting USD 267.5 million to respond to the most immediate and critical needs of 10.1 million people.

The UN Appeal is seeking to fast-track the Government of Kenya’s preparedness and response efforts in relation to COVID-19 over the coming six months.

COVID-19 represents an especially serious threat and adds to Kenya’s humanitarian needs as a result of back-to-back droughts, ongoing floods, and locust swarms.

Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and ASAL, Mr. Eugene Wamalwa, said during the launch: “This Flash Appeal is much appreciated. Coming on the heels of several natural disasters since 2016, this appeal aims to bring humanitarian relief at a time where we are all stretched to the limit fighting COVID-19.”

Also speaking at the launch, the Chief Administrative Secretary for Health, Dr. Rashid Aman, stated: “the Republic of Kenya is at an important tipping point. ‘We are confident that together we can flatten the COVID-19 curve and diminish the threat in Kenya while continuing to strengthen our health systems, and economy. We thank the UN and all our partners for their support.”

The funds pledge will serve to achieve three strategic objectives:

  1. Support public health responses with an aim to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic;
  2. Provide life-saving humanitarian assistance and protect livelihoods, prioritising the most vulnerable and those most-at-risk; and,
  3. To create an environment for the COVID-19 response through immediate interventions to improve governance, human rights and gender equality, coordination, social cohesion and service provision at country level.

Owing to UNODC’s mandate, the Regional Office in Eastern Africa actively participated in the development of the appeal document and is focused on supporting Kenyans in the context of the third strategic objective. Under this objective, the priority will be to support the continuity of governance in selected key sectors to support delivery of essential services and enable the Government’s COVID-19 response to be fully implemented, therefore upholding peace and security.

“As part of the united UN Country Team effort to support the Government during this crisis, UNODC commits to continue its vital support to improve governance, human rights and gender equality, social cohesion, and service provision with special focus on vulnerable populations consistent with our mandate,” UNODC Regional Representative, Dr. Amado Philip de Andrés, said.

Among other desired outcomes, the response approach and strategy strives to provide support to core executive, judicial and legislative institutions to develop and implement business continuity plans; human rights and gender equality monitoring, documentation and reporting in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The response will also leverage existing peace architecture for social cohesion and conflict prevention; strengthen the national and county institutional coordination mechanism in response to the COVID-19 crisis; and continuity of decentralised services by country governments.

With the Government’s resources stretched, UNODC is striving to support key institutions, including criminal justice agencies and the police, to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic on their ongoing service delivery and the health of their staff and the public.

With the resident population of Nairobi being over 4.4 million – or even up to 6 million – there are notable considerations for the densely packed capital.

More information

View the UN Country Team media release, 9 April 2020

UNODC and COVID-19 in Eastern Africa