WFP operations in Kenya support the Government's efforts in implementing the Millennium Development Goals and Kenya’s Vision 2030, the country’s national development blueprint.

WFP works to help build resilience to droughts through programmes that use food as a means to build assets, spread knowledge and nurture stronger, more dynamic communities. This helps communities become more food secure.

Kenya largely depends on rain-fed agriculture for its food requirements, relying on the two main rainy seasons - the long rains from March to May and the short rains from October to December. About 80% of the land is arid or semi arid.

WFP depends on the assessments of the long and short rains to determine the number of people needing food assistance. The long rains assessment has just been completed by the government in collaboration with various agencies, including WFP, and it indicates that 1.5 million people will be in need of food assistance through early 2015, an increase of about 15 percent from February. These people will be assisted by both WFP and the Government of Kenya.

WFP is gradually transitioning from short-term interventions to recovery initiatives such as asset creation. Through these WFP is helping communities, in collaboration with the Government, to improve their resilience and adaptability to weather related shocks while encouraging them to invest in their future. Over half the interventions are in resilience-building with some 700,000 people benefitting from these projects which use food or cash transfers as a means to build assets, spread knowledge and nurture stronger, more dynamic communities. Read more… http://www.wfp.org/food-assets   http://www.wfp.org/cash-and-vouchers

School meals remain an important safety net for many communities. WFP provides school meals to 770,000 children in 1,700 schools in the northern arid districts and in the slums of Nairobi. WFP also provides a mid-morning meal for all primary and pre-primary school children at the refugee camps.

In the semi-arid regions of the country, Kenya’s Ministry of Education is feeding another 750,000 school children through the Home Grown School Feeding programme. Having previously managed the programme, WFP is now building the capacity of the Government to oversee it, particularly in areas such as procurement, and monitoring and evaluation.

WFP recently launched a Cash Transfers to Schools pilot project in Isiolo County to test the viability of using cash assistance to purchase the food for school meals locally rather than providing the food itself. If successful the model will be used for the Government’s home-grown school meals programme in arid areas and will facilitate the transition from WFP support to government support in these areas.

WFP operations also include support to about 500,000 refugees in Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps in north-eastern and north-western Kenya, respectively. Severe funding shortfalls in November and December 2013 resulted in WFP having to cut the general food rations by 20 percent for refugees in these camps.  Full rations were resumed in January following new funding from donors in response to a joint appeal by WFP and UNHCR.

Since the outbreak of conflict in South Sudan in mid-December last year, Kakuma has received more than 42,000 refugees, pushing the camp beyond its 150,000 capacity.  An average of 300 new refugees continues to arrive daily, most of who are women and children.