According to government statistics, 3.5m Kenyans are in dire need of food, as the country is among 20 countries in need of urgent humanitarian action as hunger is likely to worsen from June to September.
The country has been listed by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Food Programme in their latest Hunger Hotspots report from June to September
Food and Agricultural Organization and World Health Organization have warned that acute food insecurity is likely to deteriorate further in 20 countries or situations, including two regional clusters – called hunger hotspots – during the outlook period
Meanwhile, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Sudan, and Yemen remain at the highest alert level as in the previous report.
In the current report, Afghanistan and Somalia have been added to the list.
In Somalia, a risk of famine has been identified through June. Rains are significantly below average, food prices are rising and conflict and displacement increase.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, the Sahel region, Sudan, and the Syria are countries of very high concern.
In this edition, Kenya was added to the list.
“This is due to the high number of people in critical food insecurity coupled with worsening drivers expected to further intensify life-threatening conditions,” the report read.
The report cites key drivers of food insecurity as prolonged drought, crop pests and rising food prices.
“The combination of a prolonged drought, an outbreak of African armyworm, and rising food prices are expected to further escalate already high levels of acute food insecurity,” the report read.
The report suggested that national social protection systems, including Kenya’s Hunger Safety Net Programme, must be strengthened to respond to the impacts of the drought on the most vulnerable populations.