The 2017 short rains, typically lasting from October to December, came late and finished early in most parts of Kenya.
WFP began registering and providing relief assistance to families with malnourished children and women in four counties.
WFP is providing technical and financial assistance to counties as they prepare their next five-year plans.
Results from the nutrition survey in Kakuma and Kalobeyei show an improvement in the nutrition status.
The Kenya Meteorological Service reported that rainfall analysis of the October-December 2017 season show that the performance was generally poor in the southeast and northeast, and in parts of south Nyanza and central Rift Valley. There was early cessation in some areas and below-average rainfall in others. Farmers in the southeast may have another poor harvest, which will affect food security and recovery from the three previous poor seasons.
WFP began registering and providing relief food assistance as “protection rations” for families of children and women identified with acute malnutrition in Mandera, Marsabit, Turkana and Wajir. Of the planned 73,000 households (425,000 beneficiaries), 45,700 were registered and 13,000 of them had redeemed their first monthly entitlement of KES 4,000 by the end of December. Registration and provision of “scratch cards” continued into January; the cards allow cash to be redeemed via mobile phones or from a wide network of agents.
The external consultants commissioned by WFP to review the capacity strengthening activities in Kenya shared their preliminary findings. They found evidence of solid foundations laid in social protection, county capacity strengthening and transition of asset-creation activities to government ownership. The review made recommendations for adjusting the approach to ensure the investments made were sustainable.
WFP supported Turkana County to develop a workplan on how to strengthen the county’s capacity to provide meals to children in nursery schools. In addition, WFP and the Ministry of Education trained 107 education officers on how to manage the national school meals programme in primary schools. Training topics included programme management, food procurement procedures, roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders, food quality, nutrition and hygiene promotion.
WFP purchased 7,000 water tanks with a capacity of 1,000 litres each to support rooftop rainwater harvesting for kitchen gardens for refugees and host communities in Kalobeyei in Turkana County. WFP also purchased farm tools, survey equipment and shade nets. The latter will provide conducive temperature for intensive farming of high-value crops in the hot environment.
UNHCR and partners conducted a nutrition survey in Kakuma and Kalobeyei in November 2017. Preliminary reports indicate that acute malnutrition and stunting reduced in both camps compared to 2016. Anemia reduced in Kalobeyei but slightly increased in Kakuma. Dietary diversity and food availability were better in Kalobeyei than in Kakuma; the latter had ration cuts introduced in October 2017.
WFP is drafting its Country Strategic Plan for Kenya (2018-2023) for approval in the June Executive Board. The plan is designed to address some of the key hunger issues identified by the ongoing Zero Hunger Strategic Review. WFP and partners will work to ensure that Kenyans and refugees have access to more affordable and nutritious food, food systems are sustainable and resilient to climatic shocks, and national institutions have capacity to assist the food insecure.