USAID/OFDA Kenya humanitarian assistance in review


USAID/OFDA's humanitarian assistance to Kenya has focused historically on short-term response to incidents of drought and floods, as well as episodes of civil unrest. Kenya experienced several seasons of failed rains in 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, and 2006, causing widespread crop failure and water scarcity.

Flooding in 1998,1999, 2003, and 2007 destroyed crops and farmland, damaged roads and infrastructure, and limited the delivery of humanitarian assistance to affected areas. Cumulatively, the intermittent crises have exacerbated vulnerabilities arising from interethnic conflicts over land, scarce water, and pasture resources.

Kenya has experienced incidents of civil and political unrest, most recently in December 2007 as disputed presidential elections sparked a new wave of violence across Nairobi and areas of Rift Valley, Western, Nyanza, and Coast provinces. According to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in mid-January, the conflict has resulted in more than 500 deaths, the displacement of approximately 250,000 people, damage to homes and small businesses, and disruptions in commercial traffic. In response, USAID is providing a total of $5 million in humanitarian aid to support programs related to health; shelter; logistics and relief commodities; protection; humanitarian coordination and information management; and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH).