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SITUATION UPDATE

Despite increased rainfall in the last quarter of 2023, the number of people experiencing hunger remained high. In the pastoral areas, forage and water resources significantly improved following the October to December 2023 short rains, according to the Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWSNET). This improved livestock productivity and increased access to food and income. More than 1.5 million people, mainly in pastoral areas, remained in Crisis level (IPC Phase 3) of food insecurity as of January this year, according to FEWSNET. Pastoral families continued to adopt coping strategies to minimize food consumption. Recharged water levels across northern Kenya have kept livestock in grazing areas.

Staple food and fuel prices remained high. In December, maize prices were around 10 to 90 per cent higher than the five-year average in most markets. The high prices were driven by a spike in fuel costs, increases in value-added tax and the removal of subsidies on petroleum products. The increased fuel prices have driven up the costs of food and non-food commodities due to the increased production and transportation costs. Staple food prices remained high, driven by low market availability following successive below-average production seasons.

Following five consecutive poor rainy seasons which affected Arid and Semi-Arid Land (ASAL) counties, humanitarian partners aimed to assist 4.3 million people in the most affected areas. Some 2.9 million people, 68 per cent of the target, received some form of assistance from January to December under the 2023 Drought Response for Kenya. More than one million people received food and livelihood assistance, which is 51 per cent of the target. Humanitarian partners reached more than 490,500 people with nutrition assistance. This includes supporting more than 250,500 children with moderate acute malnutrition, 101,000 children with severe acute malnutrition and 139,000 pregnant and lactating women with acute malnutrition.
Around 650,000 refugees received essential aid. Over 500,000 children accessed Early Childhood Development (ECD) schools and 144,000 children and youth benefitted from resilience enhancing programmes.

More than 316,000 pregnant women completed four antenatal care visits and 397,000 children under five with diarrhea have been treated with oral rehydration solutions (ORS) and Zinc. At least 70,000 people were reached through awareness-raising and/or messaging on prevention of gender-based violence (GBV) and about 8,000 people received core GBV services. About 9,000 unaccompanied and separated girls and boys in humanitarian contexts were provided with alternative care and/or reunified with families. At least 1.2 million people accessed water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene while 48,000 people were reached with critical water, sanitation and hygiene supplies (WASH) including hygiene kits.
The Kenya Drought Response Plan, that required US$452 million, was 81 per cent funded by the end of December. However, there were still funding shortfalls for some sectors, such as Education, which received only 13 per cent of the funding requirements and the Health Sector, receiving 21 per cent.

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UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA’s activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.


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