Kenya Food Security Report, December 2004


Food basket to improve in worst-affected areas; pipeline shortfalls remain. Pastoralists' grazing indicators improve; food insecurity remains precarious. Rains now widespread and expected to extend through January. Maize deficit likely to widen because GoK and private sector imports fall short. Maize prices remain uncharacteristically high in most markets.

1.0 Food aid basket improves; shortfall persists

The composition of the food aid basket is set to improve in December, at least in the worst-affected pastoral districts. December distributions aim to reach some 2.2 million people with 25,000 MT of food. Relief food, including a full ration of cereals and salt, and a full ration of Corn Soya Blend (CSB) and vegetable oil, will be distributed in seven of the worst affected districts, including: Turkana, Marsabit, Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, Isiolo and Samburu, which make up about 40 percent of the national beneficiary total. The rest of the districts will receive a full ration of cereals and salt only. No pulses are available due to shortages in the local markets. Pulses are expected to begin to arrive in-country in December. WFP reported to the Kenya Food Security Meeting (KFSM) held last week that a complete food basket for all districts will become available in January 2005.

Status of General Food Distributions by the GoK and in the EMOP
MT Distributed
Actual Beneficiaries**
Planned Beneficiaries
Nov. 2003-Sep.2004*
550,000 -1,800,000
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004***
* GoK distributions rose from 550,000 in Nov. '03 to 1.8 million in Sep. '04; WFP took over from October.
** figures are only estimates - lead agencies in the 26 EMOP districts are finalizing figures.
*** December quantities are planned and yet to be distributed.
Source of Data: OP and WFP/VAM

Approximately 14,000 MT of food commodities was distributed to 1.3 million beneficiaries in November, instead of the anticipated 20,000 MT to 2.2 million persons. The lower-than-anticipated food distribution was due to logistical constraints, including delays by lead agencies in mobilizing funds, delays in setting up the community based targeting distribution system, and the difficulty to deliver food to some districts due to heavy rainfall. In addition, the November food basket consisted of cereals only. The table above shows the significant gap between planned and actual beneficiary numbers during September, October and November. Although most of the logistical constraints have now been resolved and an improved food basket will be available in December, the EMOP overall has been limited in its effectiveness in responding to the serious food gaps, with insufficient amounts of food distributed, and an unbalanced food basket. The impact of the sub-optimal response is especially severe in areas where rates of child malnutrition have exceeded the World Health Organization's emergency threshold, such as in parts of Turkana, Marsabit, Wajir, Mandera and Garissa Districts.

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