A Country Trying to Keep Up With Growth

Kenya is experiencing rapid economic and population growth, but it’s struggling to ensure that everyone gets equitable access to resources, especially food security.

While Kenya has a growing lower-middle class, many others are still left behind, especially in rural areas. Climate shocks, agricultural challenges, and inefficient food systems prevent people from getting adequate, nutritious food.


of the population lives under the poverty line


of the land is arid


of children in rural areas are stunted

Photo: WFP/Alauna Dunphy

Left Behind in growth

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’s Work in Kenya

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.


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.

Zero Hunger in Kenya

Watch this interview with WFPUSA staff and WFP staff in Kenya.

Help Save Lives by Sending Food

You can help deliver food to vulnerable populations in Bolivia and other countries by donating to WFP.

On a sunny day in Memphis last month, International Paper (IP) hosted its annual “Lunch on the Lawn” event to raise support for its Coins 4 Kids™ program, which provides nourishing school meals to children in Nairobi’s poorest classrooms through the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP).  

Now in its 11th year, the annual event includes a variety of creative fundraising activities such as sweepstake baskets, an online auction and a bake sale. The organization’s culture of giving spreads far beyond IP’s employees; hundreds of family members and friends participated in the event as well.

This year’s winner of the sweepstakes basket jumps for joy. (Photo courtesy of IP) 

This year’s online auction featured more than 750 items generously donated by the local community and employees both within the U.S. and from IP ‘s global locations. It also included options to make a donation to feed a child for an entire month or an entire year. The bake sale was the largest yet. So far, the campaign is projected to raise more than $350,000.  The Coins 4 Kids™ campaign will continue in June as IP hosts its first golf tournament to benefit the cause. 

Since 2004, when International Paper (IP) developed the Coins 4 Kids™ program, their generosity has provided millions of school meals to children in Nairobi, making IP one of the largest private donor and long-term supporters of school meals in Kenya.   

A team of volunteers sold homemade desserts to help the U.N. World Food Programme feed more children in need in Nairobi. (Photo courtesy of IP)

International Paper’s support has helped children like Yvonne stay in school and take care of siblings after both of her parents passed away.

“The Coins 4 Kids™ program has delivered millions of children from hunger to hope in Nairobi’s poorest classrooms,” says Rick Leach, President & CEO of World Food Program USA. “We are proud of our 10-year partnership with International Paper and look forward to the next 10 years.” 

IP employees, volunteers and supporters examine this year’s goodies. (Photo courtesy of IP)

As a voluntarily funded organization, WFP cannot implement or continue such programs without private-sector support. Partners like IP often act as a catalyst, incentivizing governments to contribute more. Together, these relationships and the support of IP is helping WFP in the field deliver vital nutrition and assistance to the most vulnerable families in and around the Nairobi area.

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