Kenya continues to experience humanitarian emergencies linked to natural disasters such as drought and floods, ethno-political and resource-based conflicts, and outbreaks of human and livestock diseases. However, the 2011 short-rains and 2012 long-rains seasons brought relief to protracted drought conditions. This reduced the number of food-insecure people from 3.75 million at the beginning of the year to 2.1 million as of October. It is expected that the current short-rains season will further improve food security conditions and reduce the food insecure population. Nutrition surveys carried out in Arid and Semi-Arid Land (ASAL) areas in 2012 also reflect this improvement, showing significantly reduced malnutrition levels in some ASAL counties (Turkana, Mandera, Moyale and Kajiado). The expected caseload of children under age 5 suffering from acute malnutrition has declined from 385,000 in January 2012 to 300,000 as of October 2012. However, the situation in Wajir County and Mandera East has not improved; these counties account for 75,644 (25%) of expected caseloads.
As the March 2013 elections draw near, the risk of increased inter-communal violence is a key concern. In 2012, more than 80,000 people have been displaced to date by inter-communal violence including in Moyale, Tana Delta, Isiolo, Mandera and Wajir. In addition, attacks on schools have become an emerging issue, confirmed in an assessment by the Ministry of Education through the Education Sector and in the findings of the district steering group in Isiolo. Between November 2011 and October 2012, varied incidents of violence in Isiolo, Moyale and Tana delta districts disrupted learning in schools, affecting at least 6,000 pupils and displacing communities.
The situation in Somalia and South Sudan continues to influence the refugee dynamics across the borders into Kenya where 673,788 refugees are hosted in the Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps and in Nairobi. The Kenya military offensive into Somalia began over a year ago and has now been incorporated into the AMISOM mission to pursue Al-Shabaab militants. This military operation has caused ongoing insecurity in north-eastern Kenya with numerous improvisedexplosive-device and grenade attacks, including in and around Dadaab. It has also hampered humanitarian access.
Despite these challenges, Kenya is making impressive progress towards consolidating the gains of humanitarian investment and creating an enabling environment to link emergency assistance to longer-term development programming. Through its Vision 2030 Policy, the Government continues to lay the foundations for longer-term recovery and development by strengthening its key structures and institutional capacity. This is providing a critical opportunity for humanitarian and development partners to participate in this process and help shape strategic planning. In addition, the formation of the county structures in line with Kenya’s new constitution is giving impetus to coordinated engagement at the sub-national level. Partners are also making sustained efforts to align with other national policies and initiatives such as the Ending Drought Emergencies campaign, the newly passed IDP bill and policy, and the draft disaster risk management policy. The 2011-2013 Kenya Emergency Humanitarian Response Plan and multiyear strategy has also provided the opportunity and mechanism for stakeholders to not only plan responses to immediate acute needs, but also integrate resilience in humanitarian programming. This has helped build national and local capacity for emergency preparedness and response. 2013 marks the end of the multi-year strategy and the transition to longer-term programming through the engagement of development frameworks.
The 2013 Emergency Humanitarian Response Plan comprises 116 projects from more than 50 organizations. It requests US$743 million for humanitarian action.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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