Kenya Flash Appeal 2017

Kenya Flash Appeal 2017

23/02/2017

2.7 million people severely food insecure

Northeastern, eastern and coastal areas of Kenya are facing alarming levels of food insecurity and malnutrition as a result of the severe drought affecting the Horn of Africa. In many ways, the current situation is worse than the 2011 drought that affected the region. Up to three consecutive years of poor rains have diminished food production and exhausted people’s coping capacities, while chronic and intensifying conflicts in the region have driven up displacement. With the latest forecasts indicating below- to near-average rains in the upcoming March-May rains, the number of people severely food insecure is expected to rise further to 4 million people.

In southeastern and coastal areas, short rains maize production was estimated at between 50 and 80 percent below the previous five-year average. Reduced production as pushed up prices, with increases of up to 40 percent recorded in drought-hit coastal areas in January compared with year-earlier levels.

Scarce water resource have severely undermined livestock production – a mainstay of livelihoods in Kenya’s arid and semi-arid lands, which have been hardest hit by the drought. There is clear evidence of a link between decreasing forage availabilty for livestock and a rise in malnutrition among children, emphasizing the critical importance of keep breeding or milking animals alive and productive. As livestock prices have fallen – by up to 30 percent in eastern and northern pastoral areas – and grain prices have increased, malnutrition levels among children have also been rising.

Emergency livelihood interventions are not only essential to prevent desitution, poverty and acute malnutrition, but also effectively improve long- and short-term nutrition and save lives. Rapid provision of animal feed and water, as well as animal health programmes, combined with timely purchase of animals for slaughter de-stocking will protect core breeding herds while providing a critical source of protein to communities’ most vulnerable members and injecting financial resources into local markets.