WFP Kenya Country Brief, March 2022


In Numbers

6,102.068 mt of food commodities distributed

USD 5.7 million cash-based transfers made

USD 101.3 million six months net funding requirements (April − September 2022)

873,987 people assisted

Food Security Situation

Food Security Outlook: global and regional challenges

  • The worsening food security situation in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) of Kenya, following three seasons of poor rains, is being exacerbated by regional and global influences. War between Russia and the Ukraine, which together provide significant shares of the world’s wheat, maize, sunflower oil and fertilizer exports, is causing sharp rises in global food prices and fuel costs. Food prices are also rising in Kenya due to drought across the horn of Africa, while conflict is driving an influx of refugees, particularly into Kakuma, in the north-west.

Food Security Outlook: drought in Kenya

  • Drought in Kenya is causing increasing hardship. The number of people at IPC Phase 3 and above has risen from 739,000 in June 2020 to 3.1 million in February 2022 and is expected to reach 3.5 million by March-May, if the long rains are also below- average. The United Nations is preparing to release an updated Flash Appeal which focuses on lifesaving and life-sustaining interventions in the most affected counties. Under an earlier appeal launched in October 2021 to complement the Government of Kenya’s response to the national drought disaster, WFP received USD 10.3 million, or 25 percent of the amount sought.

Food Assistance to Refugees

  • Resources for refugee rations are far short of requirements across the East Africa region. Refugees in Kenya have not received a full ration since September 2018. In March 2022 rations were reduced from 60 percent to 50 percent. Unless significant additional support materializes, rations will remain at this critical level throughout 2022, with increasingly damaging impacts on refugee health and nutrition.

  • More than 50 percent of beneficiaries report negative coping behaviours such as skipping meals or borrowing. More than 70 percent of children in refugee camps suffer from aneamia, an accepted proxy indicator for other micronutrient deficiencies. The poor nutrition status among children is likely to result in poor growth and development.

Operational Updates

Horn of Africa Drought Response

  • After three failed rainy seasons, an estimated 3.1 million Kenyans are in urgent need of food assistance. Delayed rains in late 2021 have reduced the area planted to crops by up to 97 percent in some regions, livestock are dying and many water pans are now dry. As part of the Horn of Africa Drought Response launched on 10 February, WFP Kenya is seeking USD 70 million to provide emergency food assistance, malnutrition treatment/prevention and resilience support. Blanket supplementary feeding is now required in the most drought-affected regions to avert a further deterioration in nutrition status for critical groups.

Nutrition support

  • WFP is working with county governments in the ASAL regions to provide 110,576 children and 103,068 pregnant and lactating women and girls (PLWGs) with treatment of moderate malnutrition. In response to the drought and further deterioration in the nutrition situation in the ASAL, WFP will be starting Blanket Supplementary Feeding Programmes (BSFPs) also targeting children and PLWGs, to prevent a further deterioration in nutrition status. The BSFP will start in the worst affected region – Marsabit County, and WFP continues to seek resources to cover seven additional regions with acute malnutrition prevalence above 20 percent.

Resilience and food systems

  • With drought expected to significantly impact harvest of the main food commodities, WFP continues to extend food transfers to 390,000 beneficiaries in nine arid counties beyond the normal lean season period to cover food gaps. This aims to safeguard investments made towards longer-term resilience. Smallholder farmer capacity to respond to climate change shock is strengthened through access to microinsurance, construction of climate-resilient infrastructure, and livelihoods diversification including through the introduction of drought-tolerant crops. Crop diversification particularly benefits women and WFP is undertaking a gender analysis in Marsabit to inform options for gender-transformative programming.

Social Protection

  • WFP continued to support the GoK’s Enhanced Single Registry for social protection. A county-level system is now ready for roll-out with technical staff in six pilot counties trained. Simultaneously, WFP generated lessons from data collection to populate the registry in Kisumu and Taita Taveta counties for wider system scale. With WFP’s support, GoK shared their knowledge and experience in social protection systems with Chad through the South-South and Triangular Cooperation.

Refugee operations

  • The newly approved Refugee Act 2021 will potentially offer more opportunities for refugees to participate in the local and national economy, with improved prospects for self-reliance in food security. WFP is working closely with the Government and partners to further understand the provisions in the act and identify next steps: most notably Denmark, which is developing a USD 30 million pilot in Kenya, seeking to establish a more self-reliance-based approach to refugee hosting. WFP continues to deliver cash and in-kind food assistance to more than 460,000 refugees and asylum seekers who are hosted in the Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps and in Kalobeyei settlement.