International Rescue Committee staff measure the upper arm circumference of 7-year-old Ngikadelio Ngikeny as part of a malnutrition screening programme, at a health clinic in Turkana County, northwest Kenya, 29 March 2017.

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    UK aid is supporting the production and distribution of nutrient-enriched peanut paste in Kenya, to help treat children suffering from malnutrition as a result of the extended drought which is gripping much of the country. Over 2.7 million people have been affected by the drought in Kenya, including over 1 million children. Over 100,000 of those are children under 5 years old who are in need of treatment for severe malnutrition.The UK has already provided funding for 14,000 cartons of the peanut paste in Kenya, enough to treat 14,000 severely malnourished children since October 2016. Each carton contains 150 sachets of the paste, which are dosed at approximately 3 per child per day for about 2 weeks. The paste (which is also known as 'Plumpy Nut' or RUTF - Ready to Use Therapeutic Food) helps malnourished children regain weight and nutrition quickly and safely. Most children will recover within 2 weeks of treatment, whereas many would die without it. The UK has recently provided an additional £4 million funding to UNICEF to enable them to locate and treat an additional 70,000 of the most severely malnourished children at risk this year.

    Repeated failed rains have left Kenya facing it's worst drought crisis in over 30 years. The drought is also affecting millions of people in South Sudan, Somalia and Ethiopia.

    Picture: Russell Watkins/DFID

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