GIEWS Country Brief: Kenya 15-July-2021 – Kenya



• Critical food security situation, with about 4.1 million people estimated severely food insecure between March and June 2022

• Severe pasture and water shortages, resulting in widespread livestock deaths

• Mixed production prospects for 2022 “long-rains” main season harvest

• Prices of maize at high levels, especially in drought affected marginal agriculture areas • Deteriorating terms of trade constrain food access for pastoralists

Critical food security situation due to unprecedented multi-season drought

In the 23 counties classified as Rural Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL), covering about 80 percent of the country, the failure of the 2022 March–May “long-rains” exacerbated drought conditions prevailing since late 2020, causing severe crop and livestock losses, and resulting in a significant deterioration of an already difficult food security situation.

In the March to June period, about 4.1 million people (27 percent of the analyzed population) were estimated to be severely food insecure (IPC Phase 3 [Crisis] and Stage 4 [Emergency]). This figure, which includes about 3 million people in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) and 1.1 million in IPC Phase 4 (Emergency), is about 40 percent higher than the same time last year. The areas most affected by food insecurity are Turkana, Samburu, Marsabit and Baringo counties in the northwest and Isiolo, Mandera and Wajir counties in the northeast, areas with predominantly pastoral livelihoods, where between 45 and 70 percent of the local population is severely food insecure .

As the June–September dry season has just started and forecasts point to a poor October–December “short-rains” season, food insecurity conditions are expected to further deteriorate. Food and livelihood assistance needs to be urgently scaled up to avert the collapse of rural livelihoods, especially in pastoral areas.

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