Food Assistance Fact Sheet - Kenya

May of Kenya

January 29, 2019


  • The food security situation in Kenya will likely deteriorate gradually from February to May as Stressed (IPC 2) acute food insecurity becomes widespread due to the below-average October-to-December short rains, according to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network.*
  • The impacts of the poor short rains season are mitigated partly by surplus food stocks from the above-average 2018 long rains harvest, which are sustaining food access for poor households, and the re-planting of short rains crops in December, which is keeping agricultural labor demand high and generating income opportunities.
  • While favorable livestock prices and above-average milk production are sustaining Stressed outcomes for many pastoral households, the deterioration in pasture and water conditions will likely drive abnormal livestock migration patterns and increase conflict over resources in the coming months, causing some households in Garissa, Samburu, Turkana and Wajir to experience Crisis (IPC 3) acute food insecurity.    
  • Kenya hosts approximately 470,000 refugees, according to the UN. As of November 2018, Kenya hosted nearly 257,000 Somali and 115,000 South Sudanese refugees, fleeing conflict and food insecurity in their home countries. While the number of Somali refugees has decreased by approximately 70,000 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’s ASAL counties. 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’ abilities to adapt to drought, and strengthening and diversifying livelihoods.
  • WFP provides specialized nutrition products as a supplement for children under five 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 refugees.
  • FFP also 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 2019 $18.0 million 15,730 MT
Fiscal Year 2018 $97.7 million 67,965 MT
Fiscal Year 2017 $89.5 million 64,795 MT

Country Specific Guidance

Related Resources

Last updated: April 09, 2019

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