In FY 2010, USAID/OFDA provided nearly $1.4 million to support recovery following prolonged drought in arid and marginal agricultural areas, benefiting up to 94,000 individuals. USAID/OFDA programs improve pastoralists' ability to sell livestock, restock livestock lost due to drought, and assist destitute pastoralists to pursue alternative income-generating activities.
In September, the USAID-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) highlighted the potential effects of the declared La Niña weather event for Kenya food security. La Niña events are often associated with below-average rainfall in eastern Kenya and above-average rainfall in western Kenya. Decreased rainfall in eastern Kenya could hinder vulnerable pastoralists' recovery from prolonged drought, while above-average rainfall in western Kenya could consolidate food security or lead to flooding.
Insecurity in Somalia and resultant refugee flows continue to impact host communities and humanitarian operations in North Eastern Province. Although two average to above-average rainy seasons have contributed to improved food security in areas of northeastern Kenya and southern Somalia, below-average predicted rainfall for the coming seasons could contribute to increased refugee flows into Kenya while increasing pressure on host community coping mechanisms.
USAID/OFDA programs intend to promote food security and drought resilience by supporting humanitarian interventions in nutrition, increasing access to safe drinking water, and strengthening vulnerable households' ability to sustain livelihoods.