￼￼The December round is the third implemented in 2012 and coincide with the short rainy season. The short rains started late, with poor temporally distribution in many areas and with long dry spells within the season. The rainfall did however pick up in December and most parts of the South East- and coastal- marginal agricultural areas received near normal to above normal rainfall amounts. Most parts of the North Western pastoral livelihood zones received above average and well distributed rains while the performance has been mixed in the North and North Eastern pastoral zones with the Madera triangle having received only 50-75% of normal rainfall as of end December.
The coast and the South East marginal agricultural zones are short rains dependent and due to the poor start of the season many farmers had to re-plant crops up to two times. Unskilled la- bour remained the most important income source for households in these two livelihood zones and increased in importance since September This indicates that the poor onset of the short rains did not negatively affect the availability of casual agricultural labour, which has mitigated the impact that the poor start otherwise might have had on the poorest households.
The overall food security situation has remained relatively stable in December compared with September for both WFP beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries. Currently some 35 percent of sampled households are severely food insecure. The main driver behind food insecurity varies between late rains, high prices and insecurity depending on the livelihood zone.
North Western pastoral livelihood zone has deteriorated significantly since September. Only 20 percent of the sampled population have an acceptable food consumption and some 10 percent are regarded as food secure. A main driver is the alarmingly high food prices that are much higher than anywhere else in the country.
The MUAC Surveillance data from NDMA show that all but two of the 27 monitored districts (Samburu and Turkana) have an improving trend in the proportion of children at risk of malnutrition in December compared to the previous months.