Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
7 May 2012: Humanitarian partners anticipate that the March‐May 2012 rainy season in the eastern Horn of Africa will be poor. Rainfall in Kenya is expected to begin late, be poorly geographically distributed and will have a significant impact on crop production, pasture regeneration, and the replenishment of water resources.
Poor agricultural performance will likely negatively affect food security in a region still recovering from drought, according to UN reports. An increase in the number of food insecure people is likely, requiring rapid and well‐timed responses to protect the livelihoods of households in affected areas. According to surveys, some 2.2 million people are currently food insecure.
The overall nutritional status of children under age 5 is currently worse than the five‐year average.
The number of acutely malnourished children registered in programmes supported by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is higher than previous years. Partners working in the nutrition sector estimate that some 331,000 children below age 5 and 30,478 pregnant and breastfeeding women are currently affected by acute malnutrition.
In response, the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) provided US$2 million to two UN agencies in Kenya to provide aid to drought‐affected people.
UNICEF received $1 million from the Fund to help avert child death and illness due to malnutrition in drought‐affected areas. UNICEF will support the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation to coordinate the nutrition activities of CERF‐funded NGO implementing partners at the district level.
Key activities will focus on providing technical support for high impact interventions at the health facility and community level including: outreach services; field monitoring; coordination meetings at the national and district level; capacity development of government staff through on‐the‐job training; and strengthening district health Information data collection and surveillance systems.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) received $1 million from the Fund to help mitigate declining food security and protect the livelihood assets of pastoralists in target areas. With CERF funds, some 120,000 people will benefit from the project.