The USAID Nawiri program named from the Swahili word for “thrive” is a five-year flagship initiative funded by USAID Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) with the overarching goal of sustainably reducing levels of persistent acute malnutrition in Kenya’s arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs). Despite significant investment to address acute malnutrition in Kenya’s ASALs over many years, acute malnutrition rates frequently remain at, or above emergency levels and often fail to improve, even when households’ access to food and quality healthcare increases.
Recognizing the need for local, context-specific, and sustainable solutions to the complex development problem of persistent acute malnutrition in Kenya’s ASALs, BHA is providing multi-year support for USAID Nawiri. It recognizes the need to address underlying causes of acute malnutrition through an integrated, multi-sectoral activity that leverages ongoing emergency and development activities. Devolution in Kenya has provided a unique opportunity to partner with county governments to achieve greater and more sustainable impacts around nutrition. A key objective of USAID Nawiri is to prepare local systems and institutions to assume financial and technical responsibility for the implementation of nutrition programming in the future.