Food Assistance Fact Sheet - Kenya

May of Kenya

April 24, 2018


  • Following poor 2017 rainfall, nearly 2.6 million people in Kenya are facing food insecurity, including more than 2.3 million people currently experiencing Crisis (IPC 3)-level* acute food insecurity, according to the latest Government of Kenya-led seasonal assessment. However, above-average rainfall at the start of the March-to-May 2018 rainy season is improving water availability in many areas of the country, according to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network. 
  • In pastoral areas, better forage and improved livestock health is leading to increased milk production and higher livestock prices, contributing to improved food security. Farmers in the southeast marginal agricultural areas have begun planting due to recent rainfall, but the increased risk of flooding could negatively affect production.
  • While seasonal rainfall is generally improving the nutrition situation, several counties—including Turkana, Tana River and parts of Marsabit and Wajir—continue to have global acute malnutrition rates over 15 percent, which is the UN World Health Organization’s emergency threshold. Nearly 400,000 children under 5 years of age and 37,000 pregnant and lactating women will require treatment for acute malnutrition in 2018.
  • According to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Kenya hosts nearly 489,000 refugees. As of December 2017, Kenya hosted nearly 284,400 Somalis and more than 111,600 South Sudanese 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.


  • 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 arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) counties, food-insecure Kenyans receive U.S. in-kind food aid or cash transfers for food in exchange for work on improving community assets, such as rehabilitating local roads or irrigation systems. With FFP support, WFP provides supplementary nutritious 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 their host communities, through direct food distributions, education on maternal and child health, livelihoods training, and supplementary and therapeutic nutritious products. FFP also supports WFP’s refugee operation by providing cash-based transfers for food, support for local procurement of cereals and pulses, and a pilot program to develop refugee-managed milling and fortification operations.

Food for Peace Contributions

Total Contributions:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Fiscal Year 2018 $53.0 million 46,375 MT
Fiscal Year 2017 $89.5 million 64,795 MT
Fiscal Year 2016 $64.3 million 51,150 MT

Related Resources

Last updated: April 26, 2018

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