Horn of Africa 'Cannot Wait': WFP Scales up Assistance as Historic Drought Raises Famine Threat
Kenya, a lower-middle-income economy is transforming rapidly. However, social and economic inequalities persist. More than one third of Kenyans live below the poverty line. Rapid population growth, climate change, underperforming food systems and gender inequalities are the most significant challenges to food security in the country. Access to enough nutritious food remains a challenge for many, especially in the arid and semi-arid regions which make up 80% of the country’s land area. The arid climate means the country’s main economic driver of agriculture is highly dependent on seasonal rainfall.
Kenya hosts 500,000 refugees, mainly in camps located in remote, food-insecure counties. Unable to work or move freely, refugees are highly dependent on international assistance.
WFP has been present in Kenya since 1980. The U.N. agency is shifting from delivering services to developing national capacity in addressing longer-term hunger and nutrition issues. WFP focuses on:
- Crisis response: WFP provides refugees living in Kenyan camps with food and nutrition assistance through cash and food transfers. WFP also invests in programs like income diversification that boost refugees’ self-reliance.
- Agricultural support: WFP supports small-scale farmers in accessing markets, agricultural inputs, credit and and technologies – all of which creates further income earning opportunities.
- Logistics: WFP works to ensure that government, humanitarian and development partners can benefit from effective and cost-efficient logistics services to improve the delivery of relief to refugees.