Kenya: IPC Acute Food Insecurity Analysis ASAL - February - May 2021 (Issued in April 2021)



In February 2021, an estimated 1.4 million people in Kenya (10% of the population in arid and semi-arid land [ASAL] counties) were classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse. Compared to the same period in 2020, there was a 15 percent increase from the 1.3 million people that were classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse. The deterioration and severity of acute food insecurity was mainly attributed to the poor performance of the seasonal rainfall. In the current period, Mandera and Turkana were classified in IPC Phase 3.

In the projection period of March to May 2021, the population in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is expected to increase from 1.2 million people to about 1.8 million people (13% of the population in ASAL counties), while the population in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) is likely to remain the same at about 239,000 people.

The counties expected to have significant numbers in IPC Phase 3 or above are Garissa, Isiolo, Mandera, Marsabit, Tana River, Turkana and Wajir. This is mainly attributed to the performance of the 2021 long rains season (March – May) forecast to be poor.

An estimated 541,700 children aged 6-59 months and 98,800 pregnant or lactating women require treatment for acute malnutrition. The nutrition situation has remained similar across arid counties compared to the August 2020 analysis and was Critical (IPC Acute Malnutrition Phase 4) in Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, Isiolo, Samburu, Turkana, North Horr and Laisamis sub-counties in Marsabit County and Tiaty in Baringo County.

The main reason for the high levels of acute malnutrition is largely attributable to the reduced milk production and consumption among children, which is the main diet for children in arid areas. However, the large differences between the severity of acute food insecurity and acute malnutrition situations in these areas warrants further analysis.