There will be an estimated 3 to 3.5 million food insecure people in Kenya as the needs peak in June and July (KFSSG). About 1 million Kenyans are currently severely food insecure (IPC Phase 3 or 4) according to the latest IPC report.
Approximately 1.7 million people are projected to be affected in the urban informal settlements as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Typically, in urban areas the most significant shocks faced in terms of food security are increase in food prices and decrease in income or the loss of a job. Female-headed households, who constitute 30.2 per cent of the poor population, are at particularly high risk.
Government and partners have identified 725,000 urban poor in COVID-19 hotspots, including Nairobi, Kwale, Kilifi, Mombasa and Nakuru to be targeted through government response.
Workers in the informal economy may not be able to stay at home when they are sick without paid sick leave. People living in or near poverty often lack disposable cash and cannot easily stockpile food in times of pandemics. Hunger, malnutrition, pneumonia and other forms of health-related shocks and stresses compound vulnerability to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a context where up to 84 per cent of all jobs are in the informal sector (which excludes small-scale farming and pastoralist activities) and the urban poor spend an estimated 50 per cent of daily income on food, the slowdown in economic activity due to movement restrictions has affected their ability to buy their minimum food and non-food needs (KNBS, 2019; KFSSG, 2010).
The number of counties infested with desert locusts has reduced from 28 to 2: Marsabit and Turkana. The situation in Marsabit is likely to be under control within a week. However, Turkana County is now the epicentre of desert locust control measures, where more than 200 hopper bands sites in both pasture and farmlands as well as urban centres have been reported in the past weeks. Turkana South is the most hit, followed by Turkana West, Turkana Central and Loima sub-counties.
Provision of food assistance to 9,000 households affected by floods in Mandera, Garissa, Tana River and Turkana is ongoing. Targeting and registration of the flood-affected population was completed in collaboration with the national and county governments. At least 10,000 people (2,000 households) in Mandera, 5,000 people (1,000 households) in Garissa and 20,000 (4,000 households) in Tana River counties will receive one-off distributions of two months’ rations, while 10,000 people (2,000 households) in Turkana will receive a one-month ration. Rations comprise of cereals, pulses and vegetable oil and are provided at 75 per cent of a full 2,100 Kcal dietary food basket.
Committed funding will enable partners to complement Government's response efforts and will target about 279,000 people (70,500 households) in urban areas with cash transfers equivalent to 50 per cent of the Minimum Food Basket. In addition, 50,400 vulnerable individuals (12,600 households) living in the informal settlements of Mombasa and Nairobi will receive cash transfers for three months, of which 10,400 individuals (2,600 households) will be identified and supported by specialized partners working with survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.
Support to the food security and price monitoring efforts of the Kenyan Government through the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries and Cooperatives, which aims to alleviate risks associated with rising food insecurity, as the country grapples with controlling the spread of COVID-19.
Partners have intensified the desert locust control measures in Turkana county.
The food pipeline is compromised in the period from June to August 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global supply chains, which is resulting in delays in the arrival of shipments of confirmed contributions.
To compensate for the delays in the arrival of in-kind food, the cash proportion of the general ration is being adjusted to meet the anticipated gaps between June-August 2020.