Kenya held its first general elections under the new Constitution in March 2013. The elections were generally peaceful with only isolated incidences of election-related violence. The Government and humanitarian partners had adequately prepared for potential post-election violence through contingency planning and pre-positioning of essential supplies in strategic locations.
However, there have been periodic incidences of inter-communal violence as the result of competition for resources and political differences. In the latter part of 2012 and early 2013, the inter-ethnic conflict in Tana River County between the Orma and Pokomo communities affected over 2,000 households and led to the disruption of essential services, including health care and education. Mandera County also witnessed clashes between the Garre and Degodia clans which have led to ongoing displacements of more than 2,880 households between late February and end of May and significant loss of livelihood.
In relation to food and livelihood insecurity in Kenya‘s arid and semi-arid areas (ASAL), the favorable 2012 long rains and short rains led to improvements in most parts of the country.
Thanks to water and pasture availability in pastoral areas, crop production has increased and livestock body conditions improved. This has reduced the number of Kenyans who are food insecure from 2.1 million to 1.1 million. Nutrition indicators also show an overall improvement in the nutrition status at household level with the reduction of the caseload of children with acute malnutrition.
The 2013 March-to-May long rains saw enhanced rainfall that led to flooding in western, coast and central regions of Kenya. According to the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS), over 140,000 people were displaced as a result. The stocks pre-positioned in preparation for elections were used to support the first-line response—led by the Government of Kenya, the KRCS and other humanitarian partners—to address the immediate needs of the displaced populations through shelter/non-food items (NFIs), water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), health and food.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports that the number of refugees in the Dadaab refugee camps has reduced to about 425,000 people. At the same time, the number of refugees from Sudan and South Sudan in Kakuma refugee camp increased by 18,000 since the beginning of the year bringing the total population to more than 119,000. This number is expected to further increase to 130,000 by the end of the year.
Despite these challenges, Kenya has continued to progress towards its goal of Vision 2030, the country‘s economic and social blueprint. Future coordination between UN agencies and other development and humanitarian partners will centre on institutions at national and county level.
Partners will continue to support the country‘s transition and resilience agenda through the Government‘s five-year Medium-Term Plan (MTP II).
As a result of the generous support of donors, the 2013 Emergency Humanitarian Response Plan (EHRP) has received 41% of the US $663 million requested to date which has allowed the continued provision of humanitarian programmes and services in response to drought, floods, displacement and the on-going refugee situation.Improvements in the situation and a reevaluation of projects for the next six months of the year have led to a reduction in the requirements from $744 million to $663 million.
Despite the continued need for humanitarian assistance in some parts of the country—including the counties of the north-east and the large refugee population—the overall improvement in the situation in the ASALs and the successful completion of elections and the continued strengthening of national disaster response capacities have led the members of the Kenya Humanitarian Partnership Team to expect that there will be no need for an EHRP in 2014.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.