NAIROBI, Kenya, July 18, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- A US$6.1 Million project, aimed at improving human security in Turkana region and the bordering areas was launched in Nairobi today. The Minister of State for Development of Northern Kenya and Other Arid Lands, Hon. Mohamed Elmi, together with the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr. Aeneas Chuma, and the Ambassador of Japan to Kenya, Mr. Toshihisa Takata presided over the launch of the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security (UNTFHS) project.
“Turkana County, like other parts of Northern Kenya, suffers from a problematic climate change-migration-conflict nexus.” stated Mr. Chuma. “Recurring drought cycles lead to increasingly frequent migrations of pastoralists searching for water and pasture across the vast district and often even across national borders. The Turkana region lacks basic services, including access to basic education and health facilities. Limited infrastructure and communication, lack of markets, limited trade opportunities and socio-economic activities contribute to the crippling human insecurity in the vast Turkana County.'
The UNTFHS project ` Strengthening Human Security in Border Communities of Turkana, Kenya', has been developed by the UN in collaboration with the Government of Kenya and local communities in Turkana based on extensive community consultations and assessments on sustainable solutions to human security challenges in the region. “While we, as Kenyans, can act to strengthen human security in Turkana, our efforts will be enhanced or undermined by the actions of neighbours,” stated Minister Elmi. “I very much welcome the project's emphasis on issues such as mobile education and safe migration within and across borders.”
The activities being funded aim to improve human security in a context of UN inter-agency coordination through building on the capacities of local community based organizations, local peace committees, local governments and the governmental National Drought Management Authority (NDMA). “The importance of the Human Security project in Turkana is that it aims to help the population to diversify their livelihood, increase access to basic education for children, without which people cannot make a planned transition to an alternative livelihood, ensure access to basic healthcare, promote peace and prevent recurring conflict,” stated Mr. Takata.
The UNTFHS offers a unique funding source that is integrated, holistic and multi-sectoral, which is aptly suited to addressing the multi-facetted problem faced by communities in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) in Kenya. The National Policy for the Development of Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs), launched in 2004, calls for the revitalization of the ASALs through economic growth and poverty reduction measures.
The Government of Japan and the United Nations Secretariat launched the UNTFHS) in March 1999. Its objective is to finance activities carried out by UN organization(s) and/or designated non-UN organization(s), which translate the human security concept into practical actions.