UNICEF Kenya Humanitarian Situation Report July to October 2019

from UN Children's Fund
Published on 31 Oct 2019


• By August 2019, there were 2.56 million food insecure people in Kenya, up from 1.1 million people in February 2019.

• A total of 665,440 children under five years were acutely malnourished by August 2019, up from 582,934 children in February 2019.

• In 2019, a total of 4,476 cholera cases with 37 deaths have been reported across Narok, Kajiado, Nairobi, Garissa, Mandera, Machakos, Embu, Wajir, Mombasa,
Turkana, Makueni and Kisumu Counties.

• A total of 69,693 (33,663 boys and 36,030 girls) severely malnourished children were admitted for treatment from January to September 2019 with UNICEF support.

• A total of 314,752 children (156,270 boys and 158,482 girls) have been reached with life-saving health interventions with UNICEF support.

• With UNICEF support, 231,846 people (113,605 male and 118,241 female) affected by cholera, floods and drought have benefitted from access to safe water.

• In 2019, UNICEF requires US$ 28.29 million for its Humanitarian Action for Children Appeal and has a funding gap of 53 per cent.

• With onset of the October-November-December rains season, Kenya Red Cross has reported that approximately 100,000 people are affected by flooding, limiting access to basic social services.


2,560,000 People are food insecure (2019 Long Rains Assessment, August 2019)

1,203,000 Children are food insecure (2019 Long Rains Assessment, August 2019)

145,000 Children under 5 in need of severe acute malnutrition treatment (Kenya Food and Nutrition Security Seasonal Assessments, August 2019)

UNICEF HAC Appeal 2019 US$ 28,299,494

Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs

Due to the failure of two consecutive rainy seasons between October 2018 and May 2019, recovery from the severe drought has been significantly hampered, which has contributed to a rapidly worsening food security situation and high levels of severe acute malnutrition (SAM). According to the Kenya Long Rains Assessment, up to 2.56 million are food insecure people by August 2019, up from 1.6 million people in May 2019, an increase of 60 per cent. This number is projected to reach 3 million people by end October 2019. The total number of children with acute malnutrition has increased by 15 per cent with 665,440 children under five years being acutely malnourished by August 2019, up from 582,934 children in February 2019. This includes 145,112 children suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) by August 2019, up from 125,688 severely acutely malnourished children by February 2019

According to the FEWSNET food security outlook, some improvements in food security are expected to be driven by the October to December ‘short rains’ season and availability of the harvest from the March to May ‘long rains’ in November. However, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are likely to persist as households gradually recover in Turkana, Marsabit, Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, Tana River, and Baringo counties. The Kenya Meteorological Department seasonal forecast for the short rains season indicates that most of the country is expected to receive enhanced rainfall. The distribution of the rainfall is expected to be good in time and space especially in October and in the peak month of November, with significant improvement in pasture conditions in pastoral areas and favourable agricultural activities. Dry conditions are expected to prevail most of December over much of the country. According to the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA), most of the Arid and Semi-Arid (ASAL) Counties received moderate to heavy rains during the first two weeks of October 2019, with flash floods reported in parts of Turkana, Marsabit, Wajir, Garissa and Mandera counties. The rains are improving water access as surface water sources recharge, especially in Wajir, Marsabit, Mandera, Samburu and West Pokot counties. However, the food security and nutrition situation across the ASAL counties remain critical as recovery is expected to take time.

The ongoing Cholera outbreak has escalated, with over 4,500 cases reported by 21 October 2019, up from 2,466 cases in May 2019. UNICEF analysis below shows a correlation between open defecation and recurrent outbreaks, and the escalation of outbreaks during flooding seasons.

With onset of the October-November-December rains season, Kenya Red Cross has reported that approximately 100,000 people are affected by flooding. It is therefore expected that these cases will go up further with the ongoing floods during this 2019 short rains season, which is expected to peak in November and end by mid-December.

Predominantly marked by regional political and humanitarian situations, Kenya remains among the top refugee-hosting countries in Africa with 479,194 refugees and asylum seekers in Kenya by August 2019 (56 per cent children; 54.5 per cent from Somalia and 24.4 per cent from South Sudan), up from 474,044 in April 2019.