Although the food security situation in Kenya has improved in 2016, from 1.1 million to 639,400 people food insecure following two consecutive above-average rainy seasons, disease outbreaks, insecurity, flash flooding and a refugee crisis continue to present humanitarian needs and challenges.
By 23 May 2016, a total of 15,421 cholera cases with 243 deaths (CFR=1.6%) had been reported nationally. A total of 162 cases of measles and two cases of Yellow Fever have also been reported.
A Chikungunya and Dengue fever outbreak were reported at the end May in Mandera Town (approximate population of 90,000 people), with 80% of the residents reportedly affected by Chikungunya.
In early May 2016, the Government of Kenya announced plans to initiate the process of closing Dadaab refugee camp, which would impact some 400,000 Somalia refugees.
UNICEF supported cholera response in Dadaab refugee camps, reaching more than 362,000 people with safe water and improved hygiene interventions among the refugee and host community population.
A total of 15,401 severely malnourished and 37,776 moderately malnourished children received effective treatment, out of whom 8,755 (3,205 severely malnourished and 5,550 moderately malnourished) children are among the refugee population.
UNICEF remains 87% unfunded against its Humanitarian Action for Children as of 31 May 2016. The cholera response remains highly underfunded.
SITUATION IN NUMBERS
639,400 # of food insecure population in Kenya (Kenya Short Rains Assessment, February 2016)
54,163 # of newly arrived South Sudanese Refugees in Kakuma Refugee Camp since December 2013 (UNHCR, 30 April 2016)
5,271 # of unaccompanied South Sudanese children registered in Kakuma Refugee camp since December 2013 (UNHCR, 30 April 2016)
628 # of separated South Sudanese children registered in Kakuma camp since December 2013 (UNHCR, 30 April 2016)
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
Although the food security situation in Kenya has improved in 2016, disease outbreaks, insecurity, flash flooding and a looming refugee crisis continue to present humanitarian needs and challenges. Terrorism related threats remain a serious challenge in the country especially in Nairobi, the Coast and North Eastern areas. Restriction of movement of UN staff to Mandera County and some areas to the North of Kenya and North Coast regions due to this threat have impeded UN Programme delivery in the affected areas.
Since December 2014, the cholera outbreak has affected a total of 30 out of 47 counties, 26 of which have managed to successfully control the outbreak, although risks of new outbreak waves remain high. There are four counties with active outbreaks, with Wajir, Tana River, Mandera and Garissa. By 23 May 2016, a total of 15,421 cholera cases with 243 deaths (CFR=1.6%) had been reported nationally. Resource mobilization for cholera response remains a major challenge due to perception on the nature of key causes of the persistence of the outbreak. A measles outbreak in Mandera County was reported on 16 December 2015, with 162 cases reported by 12 April 2016. A Chikungunya and Dengue fever outbreak was also reported in Mandera Town (approximate population of 90,000 people) on 25 May 2016, with 80% of the residents reportedly affected by Chikungunya. There is fear of a spread of the disease to surrounding counties.
The Government of Kenya announced on 7 May 2016 to initiate the process of closing Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps. The Cabinet Secretary for Interior on 11 May 2016 clarified that Kakuma refugee camp will not be affected.
Citing national security reasons for closure of Dadaab refugee camps, she also indicated that the Government has set up a task force and allocated US$10 million to close Dadaab refugee camps by May 2017. As a first step in the process, the Government has halted the operations and administrative functions of the Department of Refugee affairs. This temporarily has affected medical referrals, Voluntary Repatriation, Refugee Status Determination as well as the reception of new arrivals from South Sudan. However, work resumed after two weeks of temporary restrictions.
The long rains season between March to May is ongoing, with enhanced rainfall causing flash floods in several parts of the country. By 16 May, a total of 6,675 people had been affected by floods across Homabay, Busia, Kakamega and Kisumu Counties, and a total of 5,689 households were displaced in parts of Garissa and Tana River counties. In Nairobi County, a collapsed residential building resulted in 140 injuries, 51 dead, two missing and 256 households displaced by 7 May 2016.
From the 2015 short rains assessment conducted across the 23 Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) counties, there is overall food security improvement with the latest numbers of populations in need of food assistance reduced from 1.07 million from September 2015 to 639,400 by February 2016.