A woman in Kenya’s Isiolo Region leads her camels to water at a well rehabilitated and improved with USAID/OFDA support.
A woman in Kenya’s Isiolo Region leads her camels to water at a well rehabilitated and improved with USAID/OFDA support.
Laura Meissner/USAID

Latest Kenya Fact Sheet

Key Developments

Unfavorable 2013 October-to-December short rains and 2014 March-to-May long rains have resulted in deteriorating food security in parts of northern Kenya—including Mandera, Marsabit, Turkana, and Wajir counties—and in Nairobi, with more than 1.5 million Kenyans needing emergency food assistance as of September. By July, approximately 352,500 children were experiencing acute malnutrition, an increase of nearly 90,000 children since April 2013, according to the Nutrition Technical Forum—the coordinating body for nutrition activities in Kenya, comprising the Government of Kenya, relief agencies, and the U.N.

On August 21, U.S. Ambassador Godec declared a disaster in Kenya due to increased food insecurity and declining nutritional conditions in Kenya’s arid and semi-arid lands. In response, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance is supporting the implementation of nutrition and emergency food assistance activities for food-insecure populations. In addition, USAID’s Office of Food for Peace provided more than $116 million in emergency food assistance in FY 2014, while the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration provided nearly $67 million to support refugee populations in Kenya.


Although cyclical drought has affected Kenya for years, droughts are becoming increasingly frequent. Following unfavorable rainfall in late 2010 and early 2011, severe drought conditions resulted in sharply deteriorating food security conditions among pastoralists in northern Kenya and populations in rain-dependent marginal agricultural areas. Affected populations experienced loss of livelihoods, lack of food and agricultural resources, and limited access to safe drinking water.

Vulnerable populations across Kenya continue to confront several other challenges—including seasonal flooding, localized inter-communal conflict, above-average food prices, disease outbreaks, and limited access to health and WASH services—that contribute to sustained humanitarian needs in Kenya.

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Last updated: July 02, 2015

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