Food security situation improves in Kenya
Support still needed for livelihoods at risk
Successive above-average rainfall seasons in pastoral and agropastoral areas of Kenya have led to improvements in crop and livestock production. Meanwhile, the continued implementation of recommended crosssectoral relief and early recover interventions by the Government of Kenya, humanitarian and development partners targeting the most vulnerable has also supported recovery.
The number of food insecure people requiring direct food aid has consequently dropped from 2.1 million in 2012 to 1.1 million in 2013. Livelihoods vulnerable to recurrent shocks and hazards, however, are still at risk.
“The gains made need to be sustained through continued well-targeted and well-coordinated livelihood support interventions,” states Dan Rugabira, FAO Representative in Kenya. “The focus needs to be on restoring and protecting the livelihoods of those still at risk, integrating both emergency and development approaches.”
Under the Government-led 2013 Emergency Humanitarian Response Plan for Kenya, agriculture and livestock sector interventions remain underfunded. Support is needed for both crop production and livestock relief and early recovery interventions.
FAO also stresses the need for longer-term resilience building, including the development of water harvesting structures for both human, livestock and irrigation; soil and water conservation activities; community-based seed production; and natural resource management.
Furthermore, the current long rains season has seen severe flooding in parts of the country, particularly in northeastern, eastern parts of the coast and western Kenya, further eroding gains. A food security and livelihood assessment mission in May by the Government of Kenya and partners, including FAO, will provide an overview of the situation, recommendations and response options.