The European Commission has signed two agreements with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to fund humanitarian programmes for children and women in Kenya worth €895,000 an equivalent of Sh100 million.

The Commission will provide €545,000 (sh61M) in support of UNICEF Kenya’s preparedness and response to the ongoing cholera outbreak. A further €350,000 (sh39M) will support protection measures for children in Kakuma refugee camp.

“This contribution is timely. We need to expand prevention measures in order to bring the cholera outbreak under control before the rainy season starts in October, especially in high-risk areas where children are particularly vulnerable,”

says UNICEF’s Representative Pirkko Heinonen.

UNICEF has developed a Cholera Preparedness and Response Plan in collaboration with the Ministry of Health. The EU funding will support the implementation of this plan over a six-month period in order to reach the most vulnerable children and women with targeted life-saving interventions.

The second funding agreement is being implemented over a 12-month period, as of July, to address the needs of separated and unaccompanied minors entering Kakuma refugee camp in north-western Kenya, and other children with acute protection concerns.

An avenue within Kakuma Refugee Camp. The funds will also be spent on reuniting children with their families. [Photo:]

An avenue within Kakuma Refugee Camp. The funds will also be spent on reuniting children with their families. [Photo:]

“Children, especially those who arrive in the camp alone or separated from their family, are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. This EU funding aims to ensure that the children are well taken care of upon arriving in Kakuma,”

says Jean-Marc Jouineau, Expert for Kenya and Somalia at the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department.

“Having escaped extreme violence and hardship, we need to support the children as best we can so that they can finally feel safe.”

Since December 2013, Kakuma refugee camp has seen its population grow to over 180,000. 67 per cent of the 53,000 new arrivals are under 18 years old and 15 per cent fall into the category of unaccompanied and separated children. UNICEF in partnership with UNHCR and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) have worked to scale up Kakuma’s Case Management System targeting 24,000 children.

The funding from the European Commission will help to ensure that refugee children are protected from violence, abuse and exploitation, and are reunited with their families. Children with no family are placed with foster parents.