Mid-Year Review for the Emergency Humanitarian Response Plan for Kenya 2010
Acute emergency needs in Kenya are gradually subsiding. Food security has improved for drought-affected pastoral and marginal agricultural households following the satisfactory 2009/10 short-rains season and the early start to the 2010 long rains. The number of moderately to highly insecure people requiring food assistance has declined by 58%, from 3.8 million identified in the August 2009 Long Rains Assessment (LRA) to the current 1.6 million people identified in the Short Rains Assessment (SRA) from March to August 2010. However, recovery is significantly hampered by the destructive effects of a succession of poor rainy seasons on livelihood productivity and resilience. Improvements are further moderated by displacement or loss of livelihood assets following flash floods, conflict and persistent high food prices. Lingering food insecurity remains particularly high in the pastoral and marginal agricultural regions.
Efforts to address high food insecurity through continued food assistance for the most vulnerable are key to supporting the recovery process. This includes scaling up food-for-asset activities to benefit 407,000 people, and emergency school meals in some of the semi-arid districts in addition to the regular school feeding programmes elsewhere. While some improvements in nutrition have been noted, levels of acute malnutrition are still unacceptably high in the arid and semi-arid land (ASAL) areas, with an estimated 43,000 children currently suffering severe acute malnutrition. High-impact nutrition interventions therefore remain a priority. They include micronutrient supplementation, de-worming, breastfeeding support, complementary feeding and treatment of acute malnutrition. Populations in urban-poor settlements continue to be of concern, with at least 3.5 million urban dwellers struggling to meet their food needs.
Since January 2010, flooding has affected 130,000 people across Kenya due to continued El Niño-influenced rains. Floods and landslides occurred in Rift Valley, North-eastern, Coast, Western and Nyanza provinces, prompting temporary displacement and causing dozens of casualties. The continuation of enhanced rainfall expected over the western districts is likely to sustain the current flooding in the flood-prone areas, such as Budalang’i and Kano plains. The possibility of flooding along the Tana River could affect thousands and surpass local capacities to respond, in contrast to the swift and comprehensive response observed so far.
Cholera remains a concern: it has cumulatively affected 27 districts nationwide. There have been 2,705 cases and 45 deaths since the beginning of the year. While outbreaks have been controlled in 16 districts, new cases were reported in six districts in May. El Niño rains established conducive conditions for vector-borne and other communicable diseases.
The crisis in Somalia continues to lead to significant cross-border displacements, with refugees arriving in Dadaab at an average of 4,600 people per month. A total of 22,998 new asylum-seekers were registered between January and May 2010. The three Dadaab camps receive more refugees than they can accommodate. By 31 May 2010, the camps were host to 276,109 refugees — more than three times their holding capacity. In December 2009, 1,370 hectares of land were allocated for the expansion of Ifo II camp/Dadaab, to enable decongestion and allow for new arrivals to be accommodated.
Recurrent internal displacement in Kenya remains a source of concern. Approximately 55,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) from the 2007/08 post-election violence (PEV) are living in transit sites and in self-help groups. These people face acute humanitarian needs and have limited access to services. A draft national IDP policy was finalized in March 2010 and is awaiting submission to the Cabinet. Mau Forest evictions have moved into their third phase: an anticipated one-year process of moving residents out of the forest area is likely to affect an estimated 10,000 households. The humanitarian situation of those already evicted remains difficult, with an estimated 2,689 households continuing to live in camp-like conditions. An estimated 300,000 Kenyans have been displaced by other factors including natural disasters, conflicts over limited resources and earlier instances of politically motivated violence.
The overall political environment remains fragile, with the polarization of the different political groups during the constitution-revision process and the forthcoming referendum on the draft constitution, which is scheduled for August 2010. The International Criminal Court’s (ICC) interest in Kenya’s developments during the 2007-2008 PEV period resulted in investigation procedures being launched in April 2010. These processes are likely to add to the climate of tension and distrust among different groups.
The Kenya Emergency Humanitarian Response Plan (EHRP) 2010 is 52% funded as of 25 June 2010. A total of US$ 305,768,026 against the revised requirements of $585,893,931 has been resourced. However new funding is much less than that: some 48.5% of these funds are carry-over from 2009. The Mid-Year Review (MYR) of the EHRP reports on and updates strategic response plans in 11 key sectors and requirements for the remainder of the appeal period.