The United States embassy on Friday offered Sh 1.4 billion to Kenya to help with food provision for refugees.

In a press statement sent to newsrooms, the embassy through the United State Agency for International Development (USAID), contributed the money to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to provide food assistance to more than 400,000 refugees living in northern Kenya.

Funding for Refugees low

WFP Country Director and Representative in Kenya Annalisa Conte noted that funding of the refugees' food basket had remained low.

“Since the beginning of this year, funding for the cash component of the refugees’ food basket has remained unpredictable and dangerously low.

"We are grateful to the American people for their generosity and at the same time, we appeal to all donors to help secure funding needed to guarantee continued food assistance to refugees," Conte said.

US Government to Stand with Refugees - USAID’s Mission Director Mark Meassick

USAID’s Mission Director Mark Meassick added that the US government would always stand with disadvantaged men and women from their contries.

"USAID is proud to partner with WFP and the Government of Kenya at both national and county levels in supporting food and nutrition security for refugees through the Bamba Chakula program, which also benefits host communities by stimulating local markets and creating jobs," Mr. Meassick said.

The donation ($14.3 Million) by the agency is set to provide direct cash transfers to refugees in Dadaab and Kakuma camps that will be enabled by the WFP.

Food and Bamba Chakula

WFP provides food assistance to refugees in the form of a mix of food items – cereals, pulses, vegetable oil and nutrient-enriched flour and a cash transfer called Bamba Chakula, which is Swahili-based slang for ‘get your food.’

The transfer is done through mobile telephones which allows the refugees to purchase products from the local market.

In October this year, WFP's monthly cash transfer increased from the initial Sh220 million to Sh170 million.

However, from the money provided by USAID, the UN body requires a further Sh78 million to provide food for refugees in the country on a monthly basis.