Chinese community helps fight Kenya drought
Third from left, Guo Wenchang, chairman of Kenya Overseas Chinese Association, and Kenya Red Cross Society Secretary General Abbas Gullet. The Chinese community handed over a cash donation of $20,000 toward the drought relief program spearheaded by the humanitarian organization. [Photo by Lucy Morangi/chinadaily.com.cn]
Chinese people will not abandon their Kenyan brothers in a time of need.
This was the sentiment expressed by Guo Wenchang, chairman of the Kenya Overseas Chinese Association, when he handed over a cash donation of $20,000 on Friday to the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) to help strengthen humanitarian interventions following a severe drought that has ravaged several parts of the East African nation.
Guo said the association had launched a fund-raising drive early this year immediately after the Kenyan government declared the drought a national disaster.
"This donation will provide a reprieve to families facing starvation," Guo said at the KRCS offices in Nairobi, where he was accompanied by representatives from other Chinese organizations.
According to government statistics, the number of Kenyans in need of relief supplies has risen to 2.7 million from 1.3 million last year.
This is the second time the association has stepped in to assist in the humanitarian organization’s drought relief efforts. When Kenya suffered a drought in 2011, the community launched an initiative that saw 60 tons of food taken to Turkana in the Northern Frontier.
While thanking the association for the donation, KRCS Secretary General Abbas Gullet said this years’ crisis was more severe and the donation would go a long way toward protecting the affected communities from starvation.
"This is a humanitarian crisis that needs every hand to chip in. It is indeed a noble gesture from the Chinese community," said Gullet, adding that their hearts were in the right place.
Representatives of the Kenya Overseas Chinese Association at the Kenya Red Cross offices together with Secretary General Abbas Gullet. The Chinese community handed over a cash donation of $20,000 toward the drought relief program spearheaded by the humanitarian organization. [Photo by Lucy Morangi/chinadaily.com.cn]
He noted that the China-Kenya relationship, established decades ago, has continued to flourish through the years. Aside from trade, the two countries closely partner in other areas that mutually benefit its peoples.
In January, the humanitarian organization appealed for $10 million to assist communities facing starvation due to late-onset and inadequate rains. This was later revised to $25 million as more people slid into the emergency bracket. The organization has so far received 40 percent of this goal, with 10 percent raised locally.