Taiwan is to work with Swiss children’s rights group Terre des Hommes to help Kenya fight its worst drought in 40 years, the International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) said yesterday.
The fund is to launch the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) program in vulnerable communities in Garissa, Kenya, with the Swiss organization on Sunday, ICDF secretary-general Li Chao-cheng (李朝成) said at a press briefing.
Having faced five consecutive rainy seasons with below-average rainfall, east Africa has since 2020 been facing its worst drought in more than 40 years, Li said.
In Kenya, the drought is affecting a vast area, with about 6.4 million people in need of humanitarian assistance — the most in the past 10 years, he said.
The drought has caused food shortages and sharp reductions in people’s incomes, as well as had a devastating impact on the safety and sanitation of local water sources, he said.
The program aims to help local health institutions improve water supply, sanitation, waste management and environmental cleaning to meet the international standards set by the WHO and UNICEF, he said.
The program is to assist with the construction, repair or improvement of WASH-related facilities at 10 local health institutions, and establish facility operation and maintenance practices, he said.
The institutions are to be provided with maintenance tools and equipment, and their staff members are to receive WASH training, he added.
It is hoped that the institutions can improve their WASH facilities and properly implement infection prevention and control to reduce the risk of vulnerable patients becoming infected or developing more severe illness, he said.
It is the first development-oriented humanitarian aid program created by the fund to tackle long-term humanitarian crises such as climate change, aiming to reduce vulnerability by tackling long-existing structural problems, he added.
In other developments, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is to work with the Chinese International Economic Cooperation Association to send economic and business missions to the Middle East, South America and Africa to strengthen economic and trade cooperation, as well as supply chain partnerships, Department of International Cooperation and Economic Affairs Director-General Vivian Lien (連玉蘋) said yesterday.
The missions are to travel to Paraguay, Argentina, Egypt, Jordan and Somaliland in the next two months to seek business opportunities and promote investment through trade shows and one-on-one trade negotiations, she said.
Key industries of focus during the trips would include smart healthcare, logistics, food and agricultural products, textile processing, and jewelry and accessories, she said.
Source: Taipei Times