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Fact Sheets

This is a listing of our current activities in Kenya. You can navigate to the fact sheet section below using the following links:

Agriculture and Food Security

The Feed the Future Kenya Country Plan, under the United States Government’s (USG’s) Global Food Security Strategy (GFSS), serves as an overarching framework for integrated food security and nutrition programming in Kenya. This plan describes the key drivers of food insecurity, malnutrition and poverty. These drivers stem from a complex set of underlying conditions at the individual, household, community and system levels. At the design and procurement stages, the targeting, results framework and program components will require further refinement to operationalize integrated and holistic approaches.

Overview: Agriculture and Food Security

More than 75 percent of Kenyans make some part of their living in agriculture, and the sector accounts for more than a fourth of Kenya’s gross domestic product (GDP). However, agricultural productivity has gradually stagnated in recent years, despite continuous population growth. The majority of farmers work without basic agricultural inputs or updated technology and lack adequate financial or extension services. Additionally, recurrent crises such as drought in Kenya’s arid and semi-arid areas have exacerbated the vulnerability of basic livelihoods. USAID is implementing activities that are focused on increasing agricultural productivity and incomes for smallholder farmers; building more resilient communities; improving access to clean water and energy; and increasing access to affordable financing for farmers, entrepreneurs and businesses.

Feed the Future Kenya Crops and Dairy Market Systems

Kenya is one of the fastest-growing economies in sub-Saharan Africa. Rising incomes and increased investment in agriculture bode well for continued growth. However, ninety percent of smallholder farmers still grow maize or other low-income generating crops. Opportunities to add value to crops and access export markets only reach a fraction of the country’s smallholder farmers. Smallholder dairy producers supply 70 percent of Kenya’s domestic milk production, but lack productive dairy cows, nutritious animal feed and sufficient knowledge and skills to ensure quality control and food safety. Insufficient aggregation, cooling infrastructure and in-country processing also inhibit productivity. To address market and production challenges and improve the agricultural landscape, the Kenya Crops and Dairy Market Systems Development (KCDMSD) activity supports competitive, inclusive and sustainable agricultural market systems, with a focus on dairy, fodder/feeds, and horticulture crops including mango, passion fruit, avocado, banana, pineapple and sweet potato.

Accelerated Value Chain Development

The Feed the Future Accelerated Value Chain Development (AVCD) activity is helping farmers and agricultural businesses and organizations apply technologies and innovations in agriculture and livestock value chains in order to competitively and sustainably increase productivity; promote inclusive, economic growth; and improve nutrition and food security, particularly among women and children in 21 counties in the country. 

Improving Smallholder Productivity and Profitability

Creating new and more profitable opportunities in agriculture is central to Kenya’s development. Millions of families rely on the success of their small farms to pay for school fees, health care and household goods and yet semi-arid counties are characterized by exceptionally low farm productivity due to erratic, unreliable rainfall. Farmers lack incentives to invest in improved production methods due to frequent crop failures. In Kenya, significant political attention has been given to the promotion of improvements in food staples productivity, both to offset the rapidly increasing costs of food imports, and to stimulate increased incomes and hence food security status at the household level. Not all farmers can participate in or take advantage of productive value chains. Geographic barriers such as remoteness, or access to natural resources, such as water may limit the amount of surplus production that smallholders can sell. To overcome the challenges of farming under such difficult circumstances, the Improving Smallholder Productivity and Profitability (ISPP) project is building smallholder farmers’ skills in agricultural production, water management and in farming as a business in five semi-arid counties. The program is increasing household food security and nutrition through improved access and efficient management of water and the use of climate-resilient agricultural practices and agribusiness promotion. It will help improve productivity for 80,000 farming households.

Kenya Resilient Arid Lands Partnership for Integrated Development

Kenya RAPID is a five-year development program bringing together public and private institutions and communities, to increase access to water and sanitation for people and water for livestock, and to rebuild a healthy rangeland-management ecosystem.

Partnership for Resilience and Economic Growth

Kenyan counties in arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) have suffered recurrent drought, human conflict, and a legacy of marginalization by government and international investments. The Partnership for Resilience and Economic Growth in Kenya (PREG) brings together humanitarian and development partners to build resilience among vulnerable pastoralist communities in northern Kenya. It includes both USAID programs and implementing partners. USAID PREG works with the Kenya National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) and county governments to coordinate resilience and economic growth activities.

Democracy, Governance and Conflict

Overview: Democracy, Governance and Conflict

From the inclusive reform process that birthed a new Constitution in 2010 and credible and legitimate elections in 2013 until today, Kenya has achieved many democratic milestones. Among them was the creation of 47 new county governments, effectively creating a new devolved system of political power. USAID’s development strategy is centered on the implementation of devolution, a long and challenging process at the core of Kenya’s constitutional reform agenda. If done right, devolution can put the country on a path toward more inclusive, transparent and accountable governance.

Countering Violent Extremism (Kenya, Somalia and East Africa)

USAID recognizes the critical role of development in addressing social, economic, governance and other factors that can drive violent extremism or radicalize individuals and communities. Countering violent extremism (CVE) is central to achieving USAID’s mission to end extreme poverty and promote resilient, democratic societies while advancing our shared security and prosperity. We coordinate closely with the State Department and other U.S. Government entities on this issue.

Agile Harmonized Assistance for Devolved Institutions (AHADI)

With the adoption of the 2010 Constitution, Kenya set itself on a path towards devolution, introducing a new system of governance that includes 47 county governments with governors and legislatures. The purpose of AHADI is to support Kenya’s vision and agenda for achieving the promise of devolution.  AHADI aims to promote governance systems that are transparent, accountable, effective in service delivery, and responsive to empowered citizens by working at both the national and county government levels.

Strengthening Community Resilience Against Extremism (SCORE) 

SCORE is a capacity-building activity for civil-society organizations (CSOs) working on conflict and countering violent extremism (CVE) in the six counties on the Kenyan coastal region.

Economic Growth

Overview: Economic Growth

USAID is working with the Government and people of Kenya to lay the foundation for inclusive, market-driven economic growth, in line with Kenya’s Vision 2030, the country’s long-term development plan. Our activities are increasing agricultural productivity and incomes for smallholder farmers, building more resilient communities, improving access to clean water and energy, increasing access to affordable financing for farmers, entrepreneurs and businesses, and improving the overall business environment to attract private investment.

Education and Youth

Overview: Education and Youth

As the responsibility for leadership passes to the next generation, Africa’s future and its global competitiveness will be driven by academically gifted and entrepreneurial young people empowered to lead.  USAID is providing state of the art education to millions of Kenyan children, expanding educational and employment opportunities for young adults, and preparing a new generation of young African leaders with the skills and mindset to transform the region and the continent.

Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored and Safe (DREAMS)

DREAMS is an ambitious partnership to reduce HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women in Kenya and address the challenges that they face every day. The goal of DREAMS is to help girls lead Determined, Resilient,Empowered AIDS-free, Mentored, and Safe lives.

Generation Kenya

Generation Kenya is impacting a generation of young people in Kenya through an innovative employment training model that closes the gap between young people who are out of work and employers who are short of skilled employees.

Global Give Back Circle 

The Global Give Back Circle is an innovative education, empowerment, and employment transition program for disadvantaged girls in Kenya. The three core goals are to transition each girl to become empowered, selfless and capable.

Kenya Youth Employment and Skills Program (K-YES)

The Kenya Youth Employment and Skills Program (K-YES) will give motivated but disenfranchised youth the skills and support they need to compete and succeed in the workplace. Skills and vocational training that are designed in coordination with local industry and the private sector will create pathways to employment.

Tusome Early Grade Reading Activity

The Tusome (“Let’s Read” in Kiswahili) Early Grade Reading activity is a flagship partnership launched in 2015 between USAID and Kenya's Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology. Tusome, now being implemented through Ministry systems in every primary school in the country, will improve the reading skills of 5.4 million pupils. 


Overview: Environment and Natural Resources

USAID is advancing Kenya’s sustainable growth by supporting community-based natural resource management, improving ecosystem resilience, and building capacity to implement a low emissions and climate resilient development strategy.

Countering Wildlife Crime

As demand for products like elephant ivory and rhino horn continues to rise and poaching methods become increasingly sophisticated, wildlife crime threatens the security, economy and biodiversity of East Africa. International networks for poaching, transit and sale of illegal wildlife products target wildlife populations across borders, creating a complex problem that transcends national boundaries. Kenya is currently the number one transit country for illegal wildlife products from Africa. In line with the U.S. National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking, USAID is taking urgent action to enhance wildlife management and the enforcement and prosecution of wildlife crime in East Africa.

USAID and Department of Interior Inter-agency Agreement to Support Wildlife Conservation and Combat Wildlife Crime

Wildlife crimes threaten the security, economy and biodiversity of East Africa. Demand for elephant ivory, rhino horn, and pangolin meat and scales continues to rise as poaching methods become increasingly sophisticated. International networks that poach, move and sell illegal wildlife products target wildlife populations across borders, creating a complex problem that transcends national boundaries. East Africa has emerged as a global hub for illegal wildlife trafficking and environmental crime in a black market that generates up to $213 billion each year. To address this complex problem, USAID established the first U.S. interagency agreement in the world to combat wildlife trafficking – the Partnership to End Wildlife Trafficking in East Africa. This agreement with the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) is a comprehensive program to enhance wildlife management and protection in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Community Conservancies Seed Grant Program in Maasai Mara

The Maasai Mara ecosystem is home to the iconic wildlife migration in Africa, a world-renowned tourist destination and a critical ecosystem for tourism and wildlife conservation in Kenya. With only 26% of the ecosystem under government protection, private and community land is becoming important for conservation efforts through the conservancy model. USAID, in collaboration with the The Nature Conservancy and the Maasai Mara Wildlife Conservation Association, is supporting enhanced biodiversity conservation in conservancies and private lands adjacent to the protected Maasai Mara National Reserve. This will increase employment opportunities for the local communities and income diversification among all conservancy members whose main livelihoods are anchored on a healthy ecosystem. A healthy ecosystem will guarantee biodiversity and wildlife conservation and the prosperity of the Maasai population as well as promoting recreation and revenue generation through the tourism industry for Kenya.

Community Conservancy Policy Support and Implementation Program

Kenya’s globally significant eco-regions are facing direct threats. Insecure land and resource rights, poor land-use planning, weak governance systems, human-wildlife conflicts, lack of conservation incentives, limited inclusion of women and youth, and vulnerability to climate shocks are among the underlying drivers of these threats to biodiversity, ecosystem services and human well-being. Conservation of these eco-regions relies not only on government-managed protected areas but also on conservation on private and community lands. With support from USAID, the Community Policy Support and Implementation Program, implemented by The Nature Conservancy and Kenya Wildlife Conservancies Association, facilitates communities and landowners’ participation in policy review processes and better access to policy information and incentives. The program seeks to address policy barriers inhibiting development of conservancies by promoting a supportive legal environment that encourages sustainable and beneficial conservation.

Kenya Wildlife Protection and Conservation Program

The wildlife sector in Kenya is facing extreme pressure through habitat fragmentation and degradation, encroachment, and wildlife crime including poaching. The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) is a State Corporation whose overall mandate is to conserve and manage wildlife in Kenya. Inadequate financing for KWS operations, limited capacity of technical staff, and insufficient equipment puts additional pressure on KWS to fulfill its mandate. The Kenya Wildlife Protection and Conservation Program builds on the gains made over the years by KWS in protecting wildlife while also addressing new strategic priorities. 

Local Communities - First Line of Defense Against Illegal Wildlife Trade

Engaging communities as partners in combating wildlife crime is critical. However, it has proven difficult to operationalize community engagement in a meaningful and sustainable manner. With some exceptions, the role of rural communities in combating wildlife crime in high value species and the conditions under which community engagement does and does not work have received little attention. This has hampered efforts to effectively engage communities as partners in the fight against wildlife crime. The Local Communities - First Line of Defence against Illegal Wildlife Trade (FLoD) initiative seeks to develop a clear framework to guide, monitor, and assess the engagement of rural communities that neighbour or live with wildlife as key partners in tackling wildlife crime.

Resilient Community Conservancies Program

The Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) partners with local communities to build peace and improve livelihoods through conservation. Formed in 2004 by the Lewa Conservancy with support from USAID, NRT brings together local pastoralist communities with land owners and the Government of Kenya to promote the long-term conservation of wildlife in Kenya’s northern rangelands. At present, NRT oversees 33 community-owned and managed conservancies covering nearly 44,000 square kilometers. NRT works to improve the lives and livelihoods of more than 480,000 residents from 15 different ethnic groups spread over eleven counties in one of Kenya’s major wildlife migration corridors. The Climate Resilient Community Conservancies Program is a five-year program designed to scale up support to NRT’s existing community conservancies in northern and coastal Kenya and strategically support new conservancies.

Water Tower Climate Change Resilience Program

Kenya’s five major forest “water towers” – Aberdares, Cherangani Hills, Mau Complex, Mt. Elgon and Mt. Kenya – provide invaluable services to Kenya’s people, economy, and wildlife. Approximately 75 percent of the country’s renewable water resources come from these vital national assets which are threatened by irregular and poorly planned settlements, overgrazing, illegal forest resource extraction, and the conversion of forests into farms. This degradation, along with fluctuating rainy seasons and extreme weather events, are contributing to a growing water crisis. The Kenya Water Tower Climate Change Resilience program works with the Government of Kenya to strengthen the protection, rehabilitation, and conservation of these watersheds for future generations of Kenyans.

Global Health

Overview: Global Health

USAID supports the health sector with high-impact, evidence-based interventions. Due to the devolution of health sector management and service delivery to 47 counties, our interventions focus at the county level with targeted support at the national level. We work with the Government of Kenya, civil society, faith-based organizations and the private sector on HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care; family planning and reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent health; nutrition; water, sanitation and hygiene; malaria prevention and treatment; and tuberculosis control and treatment. Interventions include technical assistance to support health service delivery; training of healthcare professionals; procurement and management of health commodities; health communication and marketing; human resources for health; health financing; and health information management.

Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare

Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare is a partnership between Moi University School of Medicine, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, and a consortium of U.S. medical schools led by Indiana University. It was established in 2001 as a successful model of HIV/AIDS control that uses a system-based approach to the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS and closely links clinical care, research, and training. It is currently Kenya’s largest and most comprehensive HIV/AIDS care program. It has enrolled over 160,000 HIV patients throughout Western region of Kenya.

APHIA (AIDS, Population, and Health Integrated Assistance Program) Plus Imarisha

AIDS, Population and Health Integrated Assistance Plus IMARISHA (Integrated Marginal Arid Regions Innovative Socialized Health Approach) is a five-year activity designed to sustainably improve the health of communities in the Northern Arid Lands of Kenya by delivering integrated health services and household and community economic strengthening interventions. The activity works to strengthen Government of Kenya systems and engage local communities through local implementing partners and cultural leaders to spearhead the adoption of healthy behaviors and the dismantling of retrogressive cultural practices.

Nilende Orphans and Vulnerable Children

The purpose of Nilinde project is to improve welfare and protection of children affected by HIV/AIDS. Activities will include building capacity of households to provide for children under their care; strengthen social systems and structures to improve support to Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC). Nilinde will support creative and innovative evidence-based approaches that strengthen the capacity of caregivers and communities to increase their ability to provide for children’s basic needs.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)

Unsafe or inadequate access to water, sanitation and hygiene has a profound effect on public health around the world. Diarrhea alone kills nearly 2 million people each year, 1.5 million of them children. Nearly 90 percent of diarrhea is attributed to unsafe drinking water, inadequate sanitation, and poor hygiene. WASH-related diseases are the number-one cause of hospitalization and mortality for children under five. More than 50 percent of all hospital visits in Kenya result from illnesses related to water, sanitation and hygiene.

Kenya Integrated Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Project (KIWASH)

KIWASH will combine nutrition programming with improved access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). KIWASH aims to enable more than one million Kenyans across nine counties to gain access to improved WASH services and increase access to irrigation and nutrition services.

Related Topics

East and Central Africa Food Assistance Fact Sheet

The Regional Office of Food for Peace (FFP) supports or directly manages food assistance operations in 14 countries in East and Central Africa. Humanitarian needs - specifically food insecurity - in this region have been rising at an unprecedented rate due to cyclical drought, political insecurity, prolonged conflicts, environmental degradation, and disease outbreaks. In the one year period ending August 2016, the number of people facing crisis- and emergency-levels of food insecurity in the region has doubled from 12 million to 24 million and the number of refugees in the region had risen to 3.6 million.

Last updated: June 06, 2019

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