Food Assistance Fact Sheet - Kenya

May of Kenya

August 15, 2018


  • Poverty, food insecurity, undernutrition and income inequality remain high in Kenya, particularly in the arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs). The drought-prone nature of the ASALs has exacerbated vulnerabilities and has led to chronic emergency responses, driven by high food insecurity and acute malnutrition rates. 
  • Following several consecutive seasons of drought, significantly above-average rainfall has improved food security conditions and driven recovery, according to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET). The intense rainfall led to some flooding and crop loss, however, the rainfall also contributed to significant regeneration of forage and water for livestock in pastoral areas. 
  • Stressed (IPC 2)* acute food insecurity outcomes will persist through September for riverine areas, areas affected by livestock disease outbreak and previously drought-affected regions. FEWS NET estimates that favorable October-to-December rainfall will lead to further improvements in food security and the majority of the country will experience Minimal (IPC 1) food insecurity by January 2019. 
  • Kenya hosts more than 481,000 refugees, according to the Office of UN High Commissioner for Refugees. As of March, Kenya hosted 272,600 Somali and 114,100 South Sudanese refugees fleeing conflict and food insecurity in their own countries. While the number of Somali refugees has decreased since 2016 due to repatriations, the number of South Sudanese has increased as insecurity worsens in South Sudan.

*The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) is a standardized tool that aims to classify the severity and magnitude of acute food insecurity. The IPC scale, which is comparable across countries, ranges from Minimal (IPC 1) to Famine (IPC 5).


  • USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP) partners with the UN World Food Program (WFP) to provide relief and build resilience among the most vulnerable populations in Kenya. In the ASAL counties, food-insecure Kenyans receive U.S. in-kind food aid or cash transfers in exchange for work on improving community assets, such as constructing water catchments. These activities promote resilience by improving chronically poor households’ ability to adapt to drought, and strengthening and diversifying livelihoods. With FFP support, WFP provides specialized nutrition products for children under 5 years of age, and pregnant and lactating women in areas with the highest levels of acute malnutrition. FFP also enables the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to provide treatment of severe acute malnutrition in the ASALs and among refugee populations. 
  • FFP supports refugees living in the Dadaab and Kakuma camps, and in the Kalobeyei settlement and host communities, through direct food distributions, education on maternal and child health, and livelihoods training. FFP also supports WFP’s refugee operations by providing cash transfers and support for local procurement of specialized nutrition products.

Food for Peace Contributions

Total Contributions:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Fiscal Year 2018 $62.0 million 46,795 MT
Fiscal Year 2017 $89.5 million 64,795 MT
Fiscal Year 2016 $64.3 million 51,150 MT

Related Resources

Last updated: August 16, 2018

Share This Page