Kenya: USAID Humanitarian Assistance in Review, 1999 - Present

Situation Report
Originally published


Recurrent seasons of failed or poor rains, sustained high food prices, environmental degradation, and flooding have exacerbated existing chronic poverty in Kenya and resulted in deteriorated livestock conditions, significantly disrupting pastoralist livelihoods and contributing to increased food insecurity and malnutrition. In addition, limited health care system capacity and highly mobile populations have contributed to disease outbreaks throughout Kenya, including cholera and the reemergence of polio following 25 years of polio-free status, negatively affecting populations already vulnerable due to high food insecurity.

Food insecurity has also occurred in the context of ongoing civil and political unrest, including violence associated with the December 2007 presidential election that displaced more than 663,000 people. While the majority of displaced individuals have subsequently returned to areas of origin, vulnerabilities among the remaining displaced individuals and disruptions to agricultural production in affected areas have contributed to increased food insecurity. In addition, resource-related conflict due to drought has exacerbated inter-ethnic tensions, hampering relief activities and resulting in death and displacement. An estimated 3.8 million drought-affected individuals throughout Kenya require emergency food assistance, according to the joint Government of Kenya, U.N., and non-governmental organization Kenya Food Security Steering Group.

Between fiscal year (FY) 1999 and FY 2009, USAID provided more than $568 million in humanitarian assistance to Kenya, including nearly $60 million in USAID/OFDA funding and nearly $509 million in food assistance from USAID's Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) to assist drought- and flood-affected pastoralists and marginal farmers, as well as more than 270,000 refugees residing in camps in Kenya.