Crises and Conflict - Kenya
A young girl waits for a chance to fill her jerrycan in a village in Kenya where USAID is working to help respond to drought and food insecurity.
Rob Friedman/USAID

Latest Horn of Africa Fact Sheet

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Key Developments

USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) is responding to the complex emergency in the Horn of Africa region, including in EthiopiaKenya, and Somalia.

The August and October presidential elections in Kenya resulted in civil unrest that led to nearly 55 deaths and at least 150 injuries, according to the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights. Relief organizations continue to monitor for additional civil unrest. USAID partners had pre-positioned emergency relief commodities—including food, shelter items, and other supplies—to assist people affected by election-related unrest, as needed. In response to election-related civil unrest, the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) deployed emergency medical teams across Kenya, equipped to treat up to 150,000 people. USAID/OFDA supported KRCS by providing more than $500,000 in FY 2017 to pre-position emergency relief commodities and shelter materials in strategic locations throughout the country. USAID/OFDA also supported World Vision to co-lead elections preparedness and response mechanisms equipped to address needs related to possible election-related displacement in Nairobi, Kisumu, Eldoret, Nakuru, Mombasa, and Isiolo/Marsabit counties.

Between August and October, approximately 3.4 million people experienced food insecurity, of which an estimated 2.1 million people faced Crisis-level acute food insecurity and 500,000 people faced Emergency levels of acute food insecurity, the USAID-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network reports. An additional 800,000 people continue to experience Stressed—IPC 2—level food insecurity. The key drivers of food insecurity in Kenya include consecutive below-average rainy seasons, high food prices, inadequate pasture, atypical livestock migration, and low agricultural productivity, among other factors.

The Government of Uganda’s Ministry of Health declared a Marburg virus disease (MVD) outbreak on October 17. As of November 8, health actors recorded three confirmed or suspected cases of MVD, a highly infectious disease that manifests as a viral hemorrhagic fever. Government of Kenya (GoK) health authorities in Trans-Nzoia County—which borders Uganda—issued a MVD alert on October 31, following reports of a suspected MVD case in Trans-Nzoia’s Kaisagat area. Initial laboratory tests of one suspected MVD case were negative; however, GoK health actors continue to perform laboratory diagnostics. Government officials, health workers, and security officers from Kenya and Uganda met on November 10 in Kapchorwa District in eastern Uganda to establish mechanisms to share disease surveillance data across districts and borders in response to the recorded MVD cases, WHO reports. In addition, participants of the meeting agreed to develop infection prevention and control measures, as well as epidemic preparedness and response plans. Local health officials are mobilizing community awareness-raising efforts, according to local media.

Please visit our Horn of Africa web page for additional information.


In Kenya, drought conditions have exacerbated chronic stressors, including food insecurity and malnutrition. Through ongoing programs, USAID/OFDA and USAID/FFP are supporting efforts to strengthen health and nutrition systems in drought-affected areas in coordination with USAID/Kenya resilience initiatives to mitigate the effects of recurrent natural hazards. In addition, vvulnerable populations across Kenya continue to confront several other challenges—including seasonal flooding, localized inter-communal conflict, disease outbreaks, and limited access to health and water, sanitation, and hygiene services—that contribute to sustained humanitarian needs in Kenya.

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Last updated: November 29, 2017

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