UNFPA Assists Kenyans Displaced by Post-Election Violence
18 Jan 2008
18 Jan 2008
UNITED NATIONS, New York – UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is providing urgently needed medical equipment and supplies to the thousands of people displaced by political violence in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi as well as affected areas in other parts of the country, including Nakuru, Eldoret, Kisumu and Mombasa. The disputed presidential elections in late December has led to riots that killed hundreds and displaced hundreds of thousands, many of whom are still unable to return to their homes because of the ongoing political tension.
To assist thousands of pregnant women who find themselves beyond the reach of health facilities, UNFPA is providing clean delivery kits, including plastic sheeting to lay on the ground, soap for washing hands before assisting delivery, a clean razor blade and string to cut and tie the umbilical cord, and a blanket to protect the newly born babies from hypothermia. All these supplies have been delivered to the Red Cross for re-distribution in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the Nairobi Women’s Hospital and other local organizations. The Fund is also working with the Ministry of Health to ensure that women experiencing complications are referred to nearby heath facilities and that displaced couples have access to family planning services.
UNFPA is particularly concerned about reports of increased sexual violence in the displacement settlements. At least one hospital in the affected areas has reported that the number of rapes, especially gang rapes, has increased significantly over the past three weeks. The Fund is providing medicine and equipment to help treat these cases of violence, including post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to prevent HIV infection and medications to treat gonorrhoea, syphilis and chlamydia.
In addition to medical support, UNFPA is working with the Ministry of Health, the Red Cross, the Nairobi Women’s Hospital and other local organizations to provide psychosocial and legal support to sexual violence survivors in the 42 camps where people have sought refuge. The camps are spread throughout Nyanza, Western, Nairobi, Rift Valley and Coast provinces. UNFPA is also assessing existing interventions to respond to gender-based violence, identify gaps, and map organizations already working in this area to ensure coordination and avoid duplication of efforts.
Nairobi: Jennifer Miquel, Tel: +254 (0)20 762 5081; firstname.lastname@example.org
New York: Omar Gharzeddine, Tel: +1 (212) 297-5028; email@example.com