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

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Key Developments

Two seasons of poor rainfall in 2018 and 2019 had resulted in deteriorating agricultural, food security, livestock, nutrition, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) conditions in Kenya’s arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) as of April. The Government of Kenya (GoK) reported worsening drought conditions in 20 ASAL counties—including 15 counties in Alert phase for drought and five counties in Alarm phase, which precedes the most-acute Emergency phase—of a total 23 ASAL counties. Due to deteriorating conditions, the GoK projects that an estimated 2.8 million people will require food assistance by August, an increase from the estimated 1.1 million people in need as of February.

The GoK is leading response efforts and coordinating with other relief actors—including USAID/OFDA and USAID's Office of Food for Peace partners—to provide affected populations with food, cash support, and WASH services, as well as livestock assistance to help protect livelihoods.


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, vulnerable populations across Kenya continue to confront several other challenges—including seasonal flooding, localized intercommunal 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: July 25, 2019

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