OCHA in 2009 Cover
Map of Kenya



Fast Facts

In Kenya, OCHA confronts coordination challenges related to chronic vulnerability with frequent acute spikes, slow-onset and sudden disasters, fragile socio-economy, and uneven social service delivery. Advocacy must be strengthened with long-term decision-makers and partners to address the underlying causes of vulnerability while coordinating emergency humanitarian action. New areas of vulnerability in the cities as a result of climate change and environmental degradation call for new approaches and partnerships across the spectrum. Structures traditionally focused on drought and food insecurity challenge interagency coordination when other disasters strike.

OCHA support to the HC and national decision-makers is deemed important added value for enhanced humanitarian response. OCHA plays a key support function to the Government Crisis Response Centre, established in 2009. OCHA was mandated to support disaster risk reduction in the UNDAF 2009-2013 and has positively contributed to driving the process alongside cluster and sectoral working groups and Government.

In 2009, OCHA Kenya strengthened field coordination to new areas where OCHA was not present. NGO and government contacts are essential to monitoring the humanitarian situation, coordinating the response, and strengthening reciprocal information flow between national and field levels. OCHA must continue strengthening its working relations with government and extend its partnership to other actors (United Nations Environment Programme [UNEP], United Nations Human Settlements Programme [UN HABITAT], and UNDP) and NGOs.

In 2010, OCHA will therefore strive for more streamlined coordination structures supported by enhanced capacities for preparedness and response; innovations in response tools and mechanisms; and enhanced communications for social awareness and public information including lessons learned. Information analysis and advocacy initiatives will clearly profile the Kenyan humanitarian context and seek to influence planning and decision-making.

In particular, the OCHA action plan for 2010 will focus on the following strategic priorities:

Tackling Climate Change and Urban Vulnerability in Kenya

There is a convergence of trends that complicate the definition of humanitarian need and make it hard to understand the underlying drivers of vulnerability. In Kenya, OCHA is employing innovative approaches to the application of its core function of IM and advocacy to facilitate sustainable solutions. OCHA is bringing partners together to enhance the understanding of the impact of climate change on populations and the ways in which humanitarian need manifests in urban areas.

This understanding will trigger collaborative responses that can address underlying causes while tackling urgent life saving needs. OCHA will work with UN HABITAT on urban vulnerability and with UNEP, International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Institute for Security Studies on the humanitarian impact of climate change. Advocacy to highlight the needs of pastoralist communities will be a key focus for OCHA in 2010.