FACT SHEET RE KAKUMA CAMP: COVID-19 FOOD RESPONSE
Emergency Response Preparation by ALLOut – RefCEA – AHRC- April 09, 2020
When the United States went into various forms of lockdown because of CORONAVIRUS - COVID-19, AHRC and other organizations realized that the CORONAVIRUS would be spreading to Africa, and that early preparation was the key. We hoped that even if the CORONAVIRUS never ever hit Africa the way it did in the rest of the world, that we would prepare regardless so as to ensure we covered as best we could, under enormously difficult circumstances, the impending likely needs for KAKUMA and NAIROBI LGBTQI refugees, and so our preparation with partners started in February:
B. FOOD SHORTAGES:
1. For many years LGBTQI Refugees in Kakuma Camp have been expressing the difficulties presented by food shortages through rations provided by UNHCR as not being enough food. People have told AHRC and other well-wishers that food needs to be stretched for a month and these LGBTQI refugees would constantly ask well-wishers for food money. So we prepared for food and hygiene in case a lockdown situation came to Kenya and Kakuma and in case there would become a shortage. We also thought of providing buckets for hygiene.
2. RefCEA in Nairobi helped with many meetings to roll out the plan and ALLOut and AHRC approved the plan for how to get the food distributed. We appointed 5 individuals in Kakuma to distribute the food to all the LGBTI in community. The distribution has been divided so that each person is responsible for their own community area’s distribution process. There was no time to have meetings and accomplish getting the task done before a possible lockdown which may or may not happen and could happen within hours of warnings.
3. Money went directly through a fiscal agent, and to the store where the purchase of the food has and will continue to be been made. For as long as all is well, we have set aside food which can be provided ongoing ahead as much as possible. In case there is a lockdown for a lengthy period of time, and in case there are shortages, we know LGBTQI are prepared as best we can. So we are trying to prepare.
4. There is no money for any individuals from this campaign. The money received will be fully accounted for by agents on the ground, with documentation for the purchases.
5. On April 08, an incident occurred at Kakuma while we were attempting our distribution. Anyone who wants clarity on this can contact AHRC directly. Unfortunately our agents were threatened and cannot do the job today, and have been forced to leave their own homes and shelters to go into safekeeping. Those who continue to HINDER this distribution will be held responsible if people cannot receive their food. BECAUSE this is a PANDEMIC such behavior WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.
6. To protect our agents AHRC stopped the distribution plan and is reassessing their safety before food will be distributed. We hope for no further delays. We would not usually make such public, but we are compelled to do so to protect our agents and the distribution plan. Security at the camp has been arranged as we move forward.
E. MOVING FORWARD
7. We are requesting that people do not harass fellow LGBTQI and AHRC employees or agents who we have appointed to do the job. People are advised that if anyone is threatened, they will be reported and the law will apply to them just like anyone else.
8. If you do not need food, you do not need to accept it. But please do not stop others from receiving the food. That said, we believe due to all the unknowns it is safest to have food on hand in case there is a shortage and in case delivery becomes impossible.
F. RUMOURS AND NOT TRUE
9. It is NOT true that any individual receives money from this emergency COVID-19 and food fund campaign
10. It is NOT true that every donor organization is involved and sent money and so it is NOT TRUE as alleged by some that there are therefore no more donors for other things. This campaign involved ONLY ALLOut, AHRC and RefCEA- and it is ONLY our individual donors who gave to this and hence we are responsible to ensure that it is done according to the plan already approved by donors.
G. IMPORTANT FACTS TO KNOW
11. The World is under lockdown. Millions have been infected by COBID-19. Hundreds of thousands have died. Africa is the last Continent to get the VIRUS – and it has barely hit yet. If Africa’s preparation continues to be as good as it has been, we may never get the virus the way the rest of the world has done. BUT WE MUST STILL PREPARE. THAT would be good, because getting the virus in a Camp setting will be deadly as there will not be enough medical or food help when the time comes. SO all organizations are preparing in advance.
12. THERE IS NO EMBASSY OPEN, NO RESETTLEMENT, NO MOVEMENT, NO INTERVIEWS, NO TRAVEL – and so THE ONLY ADVOCACY we are able to do is purely COVID-19 related. That is our current priority. We must survive this!
13. If and when WE ARE FORCED by a VIRUS outbreak to not move anywhere, OUR only survival will be food and water and hygiene practice hand washing and social distance.
14. THIS IS NOT A USUAL SITUATION – IT IS A GLOBAL PANDEMIC: UNHCR is short of money to complete protections for everyone under a PANDEMIC CRISIS with 70 million migrants around the world who are impacted. People are not working as usual. Many global workers and even doctors are sick and cannot go to work to do their job. Each person has to be aware of their own protection. Staffing will decrease not increase. Protection will be at a minimum.
14. STOP RUMORS – it hurts and does not help
15. BE PART OF SOLUTION – and be helpful and kind toward those helping distribute the food
16. ONLY FOOD AND MEDICAL ADVOCACY: There can be NO OTHER advocacy at this time. Everyone is NOW responsible for their own safety and so should remain away from trouble and trouble spots.
!7. CEASE AND DESIST from hindering our food distribution – if ones does not like it- then walk away and do not take this food, BUT DO NOT STOP– others from receiving theirs!
18. PLEASE FOLLOW ADVISORIES- we have all best interests at heart and are truly trying to prepare for the worst in case.
ANY ISSUES CAN BE REPORTED TO CaseAHRC@Gmail.com
please see www.AfricanHRC.org for advisories