Kenya hosts 470 000 refugees and asylum seekers from neighbouring countries who are fully dependent on humanitarian assistance to cover their basic needs. Voluntary repatriation of Somali refugees has continued, in spite of insecurity, drought, and forced evictions in their home country. The European Commission continues its long-standing assistance to refugees in Kenya and responds to disaster-related emergencies.
What are the needs?
Increasingly unpredictable weather means food insecurity for millions of Kenyans. Despite the long rainy season, 700 000 people continue to face critical food shortages. Heavy rains from March to April of this year caused massive flooding in 40 out of the country’s 47 counties and led to the displacement of over 320 000 people and 197 deaths. With the onslaught of rain, rivers and dams overflowed, destroying cropland, food stocks, houses and other infrastructure.
Nationwide, 556 000 children and pregnant or breastfeeding women are malnourished. 100 000 children suffer from severe acute malnutrition and require life-saving treatment. Meanwhile, cholera remains a major public health concern, with active outbreaks in seven counties. Since January 2018, more than 5 400 cases and 77 deaths have been recorded. Four counties also reported an active outbreak of Rift Valley Fever.
Kenya hosts nearly half a million refugees and asylum seekers mainly from South Sudan, Somalia, and the Great Lakes region. Kenya has an encampment policy meaning refugees are mainly confined to camps and almost entirely dependent on aid. Lack of funding has led to food ration cuts for many refugees. Since the beginning of 2018, about 5 470 Somalis have been assisted to voluntarily return to Somalia despite insecurity and lack of basic services back home.