Food Assistance Fact Sheet - Kenya

March 17, 2016

Food Security Situation

Map of Kenya
CIA World Factbook
  • Kenya boasts the largest and most dynamic economy in East Africa. However, 45 percent of Kenyans still live below the poverty line. Many of Kenya’s poorest are small-scale farmers, who are reliant on rain and who do not have machinery or pesticides, making them vulnerable to shocks such as droughts and floods. 

  • Above-average rainfall during September to December 2015, influenced by the ongoing El Niño, has led to increased harvests. Following an above-average harvest from May to June 2015, the overall food security situation has improved significantly. According to the Kenya Food Security Steering Group’s (KFSSG) February 2016 assessment, the number of food insecure requiring immediate humanitarian assistance has declined from 1 million to approximately 640,000 in the past six months. 

  • The short rains in late 2015 improved pastures and livestock conditions in northern pastoral areas, allowing some households to move into Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity. Yet many pastoralist households will remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) because of low livestock holdings from previous seasons and as pasture and water resources deteriorate seasonally and, in some areas, more quickly from hotter than normal land surface temperatures.

  • Kenya hosts over 595,000 refugees, most of whom are from Somalia. Since the outbreak of conflict in South Sudan in mid-December 2013, more than 51,000 additional South Sudanese refugees also have entered Kenya, bringing the total to almost 97,000 South Sudanese seeking safety in Kenya.

Food Assistance Programs

  • The Office of Food for Peace (FFP) partners with the U.N. World Food Program (WFP) to provide relief and build resilience among the most vulnerable populations in Kenya. In the arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs), FFP supports food-insecure Kenyans by providing cash or food in exchange for work on improving community infrastructure, such as rehabilitating local roads or irrigation systems. FFP is also providing funding and in-kind Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods to UNICEF for the treatment of severe malnutrition in the ASALs and among refugee populations in Kenya. FFP also provides support through direct food distributions, but this form of assistance is decreasing and being shifted toward food-for-assets and cash-for-assets activities.

  •  FFP supports refugees living in the Dadaab and Kakuma camps, and their host communities, through direct food distributions, mother and child health and nutrition, and supplementary and therapeutic nutritious foods.

Food for Peace Contributions

Total Contributions:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Fiscal Year 2016 $42.5 million 42,210 MT
Fiscal Year 2015 $83.0 million 74,331 MT
Fiscal Year 2014 $111.4 million 74,780 MT
Fiscal Year 2013 $106.7 million 86,480 MT
Fiscal Year 2012 $113.7 million 91,272 MT

Fiscal Year 2016 Contribution Breakdown:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Title II Development ---- ----
Title II Emergency $42.5 million 42,210 MT
Emergency Food Security Program (EFSP) ---- ----

Food Security Situation information is provided by FEWS NET and Refugee Information by UNHCR as of February 2016.

Last updated: June 03, 2016

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