Humanitarian Action for Children 2019 - Kenya (Revised May 2019)

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Total people in need 4,473,971
Total children (<18) in need 2,147,506
Total people to be reached 881,692
Total children to be reached 749,1921

2019 programme target


96,028 children aged 6 to 59 months with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) admitted for treatment


579,200 children affected by acute watery diarrhoea, malaria or measles accessing life-saving preventative and curative interventions

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

250,000 people accessing the agreed quantity of water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene

Child Protection

13,575 children (52 per cent girls) provided with psychosocial support, including access to child-friendly spaces with inter-sectoral programming interventions


169,000 school-aged children, including adolescents (50 per cent girls), accessing formal or non-formal early learning, pre-primary, primary or secondary education

Social Protection

30,000 vulnerable households reached with cash transfer top up

Following poor October to December 2018 rains, there are now 1.1 million food-insecure people in Kenya, up from 700,000 people in August 2018. This figure is expected to reach 2.5 million people by July 2019 due to the failed March to May 2019 rains. The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) outlook indicates significant declines in food security between June and September 2019. The total global acute malnutrition caseload for children under 5 years has gone up from 511,000 to 582,934 by February 2019, of which 125,688 children are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. In the arid and semi-arid (ASAL) counties, most open water sources are reported to have dried up and strategic boreholes have broken down due to over-use, increasing average distances to water points to above the fiveyear average. According to the Ministry of Health, drought conditions have exacerbated ongoing disease outbreaks, with 2,466 cholera cases with 6 deaths and 477 measles cases with 3 deaths reported in 2019. Kenya hosts nearly 474,000 refugees (56 per cent children) by 30 April 2019, up from 468,000 in October 2018 due to increased influx to Kakuma Refugee Camps.

Humanitarian strategyX

In 2019, UNICEF Kenya has revised its humanitarian strategy to scale up the drought response. Through its sector lead role for Nutrition, WASH, Child Protection and Education, UNICEF is monitoring the evolving drought situation and taking a lead in multisector preparedness and response through the inter-agency and Government-led coordination mechanisms at national and county levels. UNICEF’s key humanitarian interventions include enhancing health and nutrition outreach services in hard-to-reach areas, supporting vaccination campaigns, providing sustainable safe water interventions, behaviour change communication for disease outbreak response and maintaining essential nutrition services. UNICEF is implementing the integrated, multi-sector drought response plan focusing on mass screening and treatment for malnutrition; increasing access to safe water through repair of strategic water points; strengthening disease prevention and response, supporting children to enroll and remain in school; providing child protection services and humanitarian cash transfer assistance to improve food security for vulnerable households. Response to the basic needs of refugees and host communities including new arrivals in Kakuma, children affected by the voluntary repatriation of refugees to Somalia in Dadaab refugee camps and cross-border displacements continues including support to basic services delivery and longer-term humanitarian interventions.

Results from 2019

By March 2019, UNICEF had US$2.9 million available million available against the US$28.3 million appeal (10 per cent funded).
Over 13,400 severely malnourished children and nearly 16,500 moderately malnourished children in the arid and semi-arid lands and urban informal settlements have received treatment with UNICEF support. Nearly 142,700 children were reached with lifesaving preventative and curative health interventions, including treatment for malaria and acute watery diarrhoea. Over 60,400 people were reached with cholera awareness messaging while 748 were treated at Cholera Treatment Centers and isolation units with UNICEF-supported health supplies. A total of 31,000 people in cholera-affected areas in Narok and Kajiado counties and 19,000 people in drought-affected counties (Tana River, Mandera and Isiolo) accessed safe water through household water treatment and storage. Over 50,000 women, girls, boys and men received critical WASH related information for prevention of illnesses.
UNICEF facilitated assessment and provision of care and support to 791 (301 girls) unaccompanied and separated children in Kakuma. Nearly 11,000 children (2,256 girls) and 269 teachers (85 women) benefited from emergency education supplies and permanent classrooms, of which 4,728 children (2,117 girls) are refugees.