Published on 03 September 2009

WFP shortfalls over the next six months (September 2009 – February 2010) are 260,000 mt of food or US$230 million, to provide emergency food assistance to millions of Kenyans affected by deepening drought and continued high food prices, as per the findings of the just-concluded long rains assessments. This includes needs based on the assessment findings as well as funds still owed to advance finance mechanisms.

This will be an increase from the 2.6 million drought-affected Kenyans currently assisted through general food distributions/food-for-assets. The Kenyan government will support the new caseload of 1.2 million people until the end of October, when WFP will take over the entire caseload.

WFP will also expand its school meals programme by 100,000 to reach nearly 1.2 million children across the worst affected areas. The Government of Kenya is also providing school meals to about half a million more children under their own school meals programme.

Some of the worst affected Kenyans have been pushed to the edge and are struggling to survive. Many have reduced the number of meals per day, eat cheaper and less nutritious foods, migrated to urban centres and taken on massive debt. Cattle are dying, and acute malnutrition rates among children under 5 are over 20 percent in some areas – well above the 15 percent emergency threshold.

With the influx into the Dadaab camp, the refugee operation urgently requires US$6.2 million to procure a three-month buffer stock before the end of September and anticipated flooding associated with El Nino weather conditions. In addition, the operation still owes US$9.5 million to the Immediate Response Account.