The Route to Food Alliance has expressed concern over recent press reports highlighting the plight of thousands of Kenyans at risk of starvation.

The Alliance members have welcomed the emergency interventions announced by the government and urge the authorities to ramp up efforts to ensure that no other Kenyan dies of hunger. They have, however, noted that the situation could have been averted to avoid a repeat of previous hunger cycles in the country.

The Alliance has further noted that it is the constitutional obligation of the government to respect, protect and fulfil the right to food and emergency food aid.

Over the last few years, Route to Food Alliance has regularly called for increased budgetary allocation to the agricultural sector. In the organization’s report on the Budget Policy Statement last year, the firm noted that, “Out of the total expenditure by the national government, since FY2013/14 less than 4% of the total voted budget has been allocated to the Agriculture Rural and Urban Development (ARUD) sector. A similar pattern of low allocations to agriculture is observed in the county budgets. Out of the county budgets between the FY2013/14 and FY2018/19, less than 4% is allocated to food and nutrition security except for the FY2014/15.”

The organization has suggested that strategic infrastructure projects should be prioritized, particularly in Arid and Semi-Arid counties. This is in turn expected to support economic activities in those regions that raise household incomes as well as lower the cost of food currently raised by gross inefficiencies in the supply chains.

Additionally, the Alliance members have warned that as elections approach, Kenyan voters should only reward candidates who demonstrate sensible and practical ideas that will uplift all citizens from the humiliation and death of chronic poverty and hunger.