Kenya + 1 more

Humanitarian Action for Children 2020 - Kenya

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Total people in need 4.98 million
Total children (<18) in need 2.39 million
Total people to be reached 1.02 million
Total children to be reached 739,200

2020 programme targets


110,597 children aged 6 to 59 months affected by SAM admitted for treatment


252,186 children vaccinated against measles

255,614 children accessing primary health care through UNICEF-supported outreach


250,000 people accessing a sufficient quantity of safe water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene

Child protection

36,874 children and caregivers accessing mental health and psychosocial support

876 emergency-affected children and caregivers accessing gender-based violence prevention and care services


195,521 children accessing formal or nonformal education, including early learning

Social protection

20,000 households reached with humanitarian cash transfers


Due to the severe drought, an estimated 3 million people in Kenya will require food assistance and access to safe water by October 2019. The failure of two consecutive rainy seasons between October 2018 and May 2019 has hampered recovery and contributed to high levels of acute malnutrition, with the number of children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) having increased by 15 per cent. By August 2019, 665,000 children under 5 years were acutely malnourished, including 145,000 children suffering from SAM. The worsening drought conditions are contributing to resource-based conflicts, increasing child protection risks, such as separation from families for 130,500 children, and reducing access to schooling for some 560,000 children. Drought-related disease outbreaks have escalated, with nearly 4,000 cholera cases, 420 measles cases and 2,500 cases of kala-azar reported as of August 2019. The next rainy season is expected to be above average, leading to flood-related displacement and disease outbreaks. Given that Kenya is a regional transit hub, the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo remains a threat. Kenya is among the top refugee-hosting countries in Africa, with over 477,000 refugees and asylum seekers reported as of July 2019, 56 per cent of whom are children.

Humanitarian strategy

In response to the deteriorating nutrition situation in Kenya, UNICEF will support the Government and partners to conduct sector/multi-sector drought emergency preparedness and response planning at the national and county levels. UNICEF will foster nutrition sector coordination through the Emergency Nutrition Advisory Committee, enhance the nutrition supply chain system, and facilitate monitoring, advocacy and resource mobilization. Coordination and evidence-based advocacy for preparedness and response to disease outbreaks, including Ebola, cholera and vaccine-preventable diseases, will also be strengthened. UNICEF will enhance capacities and pre-position critical supplies to facilitate the delivery of lifesaving health interventions to unreached children. Capacities for emergency water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) preparedness and response will also be strengthened through sector coordination and strategic partnerships that facilitate rapid response to emergency needs. UNICEF will provide technical support and resources to strengthen advocacy and partnerships for protecting the rights of refugee children. This will include supporting an enabling environment and advocacy for education in emergencies; influencing resource allocation by county governments in disaster-prone areas; and strengthening refugee programming in line with the Global Compact for Refugees and the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework. UNICEF will also support policy development to strengthen the enabling environment for a shock-responsive social protection system.

Results from 2019

As of 31 August 2019, UNICEF had US$8.1 million available against the US$28.3 million appeal (29 per cent funded). Limited funding – including the lack of shock-responsive budgets secured by partners – hampered the achievement of some results. Creating an enabling policy environment remained challenging, especially for refugee programming, due to the drastically reduced resources. UNICEF focused on systems strengthening of devolved government units and capacity building of implementing partners and adopted a risk-informed approach to strengthening resilience. Genderand disability-inclusive emergency programming was prioritized, including awareness-raising efforts, with specific attention given to the needs of boys, girls, women and people with disabilities. UNICEF was able to strengthen its approach to accountability in humanitarian programming.

More than 700 integrated health and nutrition outreach sites brought services closer to beneficiaries, reducing the time spent by mothers seeking life-saving interventions for children under 5 years. Health facilities analysed SAM admission trends and seasonal contexts before the drought emergency, for real-time response. Immunization services were provided in schools, including in early childhood learning centres. Education-inemergencies and child protection interventions included the prevention of gender-based violence in schools and for families and communities.