Kenya’s private sector recorded an expansion in activity for the first time since December 2019. The Stanbic Bank Kenya Purchasing Managers Index increased to 54.2 in July of 2020 from 46.6 in the previous month. The reading pointed to the first expansion in the country's private sector since December 2019 and at the quickest pace in over a year amid the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions and the removal of regional border controls. · Kenya currency exchange rate: The Kenya shilling recorded another historic low against the US Dollar pointing to a rise in the cost of importing goods into the country in the short term. As of Friday 7th August, the Central Bank of Kenya mean indicative exchange rate was at 108.002 to the Dollar.
Retail price trends
WFP continues to actively contribute to the food security and price monitoring efforts of the Kenyan Government through the Food Security War Room under Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives leadership, which aims to alleviate risks associated with rising food insecurity, as the country grapples with controlling the spread of COVID-19. WFP is also supporting county food security situation rooms to monitor and report on the food security situation on a weekly basis.
The Port of Mombasa continues to work effectively without major problems for either commercial or humanitarian cargo. With the resumption of international flights on 1st August, crew changes are now allowed. The Kenya Port Authority and shipping agents are currently processing crew changes for the first five vessels. The number of bulk vessels carrying grain for the government and commercial traders has increased, with 198,000 mt of maize and wheat arrived/discharged at Mombasa Port during the week.
Kenya and East African Community Border Operations
· Malaba (Kenya-Uganda): Operations continue but with the emerging challenge of drivers arriving at the border with no or expiring COVID-19 certificates. The testing of truck drivers at the border by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in collaboration with TradeMark East Africa launched three weeks ago has stopped at government request after demand decreased and to allow kits to be preserved for times of more urgent demand.
· Busia and Lwakhakha (Kenya-Uganda): Despite the withdrawal of the IOM/Trademark East Africa COVID-19 testing facilities from the border, operations have continued well. Currently, queues to cross the border are 2.5 km long in the Kenyan side.
· Moyale (Kenya-Ethiopia): The border is closed for normal crossing, with either transhipment of cargo and/or driver relay being undertaken at customs yards on both sides of the border. Drivers are not allowed to cross the border from either side.
· Inland transport operations are proceeding with enough trucks for primary transport. WFP delivered 1,128 mt by 6th August: 470 mt for refugee operations and 648 mt for the resilient livelihoods programme.
· WFP is still experiencing reduced availability of overland trucks. Transporters are not committing sufficient capacity required to preposition 5,800 mt of stock for South Sudan.
· To supplement the constrained road transport capacity, WFP is also moving cargo destined for Uganda and South Sudan from Mombasa to Tororo in Uganda by rail. From Tororo, WFP Uganda will then deliver the cargo by road to Juba.
· Kenya re-opened its airspace for international commercial passenger flights on 1st August from Nairobi and Mombasa, and a considerable number of airlines have since resumed their passenger flights. In accordance with the exit strategy to discontinue the global passenger flights as soon as a reliable commercial airline was providing flights into and out of the country, WFP’s Global Passenger Service operated its last flight between Addis Ababa and Nairobi on Saturday, 8th August.
· WFP launched the flights Addis Ababa to Nairobi on 4th June 2020 and has transported 1,258 passengers from 111 organizations. WFP will follow closely flight operations in the region and may reinstate Global Passenger Service flights to Nairobi should commercial flights be disrupted again.
National Supply Chain Task Force and Service Provision
· WHO received a large consignment of PPEs through the WFP COVID-19 Emergency Service Marketplace, which are undergoing clearance this week.