Food Assistance Fact Sheet - Kenya

January 14, 2016

Food Security Situation

Map of Kenya
CIA World Factbook
  • Kenya boasts the largest and most dynamic economy in East Africa. However, 45 percent of Kenyans still live below the poverty line. Many of Kenya’s poorest are small-scale farmers, who are reliant on rain and who do not have machinery or pesticides, making them vulnerable to shocks such as droughts and floods. 

  • Since November 2015, heavy rainfall – due partly to the El Niño phenomenon – has caused flash flooding, leading to approximately 70 deaths, displacing tens of thousands of households, and negatively affecting food security. Impacts of El Niño have generally been less severe than anticipated and preparation by the Government of Kenya (GoK) and relief actors seems to have minimized the negative impacts. Currently, the GoK remains within its capacity to respond and has not appealed for additional humanitarian assistance. 

  • The short rains in late 2015 improved pastures and livestock conditions in northern pastoral areas, allowing some households to move into Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity. Yet many pastoralist households will remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) because of low livestock holdings from previous seasons. 

  • Kenya hosts approximately 550,000 refugees, most of whom are from Somalia and South Sudan. Since the outbreak of conflict in South Sudan in mid-December, more than 49,500 additional South Sudanese refugees have entered Kenya, bringing the total to nearly 96,000 South Sudanese seeking safety in Kenya.

Food Assistance Programs

  • The Office of Food for Peace (FFP) partners with the U.N. World Food Program (WFP) to provide relief and build resilience among the most vulnerable populations in Kenya. In the arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs), FFP supports food-insecure Kenyans by providing cash or food in exchange for work on improving public infrastructure. FFP is also providing funding and in-kind Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods to UNICEF for the treatment of severe malnutrition in the ASALs and among refugee populations in Kenya. FFP also provides support through direct food distributions, but this form of assistance is decreasing and being shifted toward food-for-assets and cash-for-assets activities.

  • FFP also supports refugees living in the Dadaab and Kakuma camps, and their host communities, through direct food distributions, mother and child health and nutrition, and supplementary and therapeutic nutritious foods.

Food for Peace Contributions

Total Contributions:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Fiscal Year 2016 $42.5 million 42,210 MT
Fiscal Year 2015 $83.0 million 74,331 MT
Fiscal Year 2014 $111.4 million 74,780 MT
Fiscal Year 2013 $106.7 million 86,480 MT
Fiscal Year 2012 $113.7 million 91,272 MT

Fiscal Year 2016 Contribution Breakdown:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Title II Development ---- ----
Title II Emergency $42.5 million 42,210 MT
Emergency Food Security Program (EFSP) ---- ----

Food Security Situation information provided by FEWS NET and UNHCR as of January 2016

Last updated: January 21, 2016

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