Skip to main content

United States funding enables WFP to support almost one million Kenyans reeling from the impact of drought

NAIROBI – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is scaling up its emergency response to support hundreds of thousands of Kenyans affected by the impact of nearly three years of drought. WFP is ramping up to support more than 940,000 drought-affected people – an increase from almost 600,000 people supported by WFP in 2022.

The longest drought in the Horn of Africa’s recorded history has left 4.4 million people in Kenya facing crisis levels of hunger or worse. Almost 1.5 million young children and women are acutely malnourished and nearly 3 million livestock have perished.

“The hunger emergency in Kenya is far from over. Years of drought has given way to rain, but flash flooding has washed away livestock, and destroyed farms, bringing yet more anguish for families,” says Lauren Landis, WFP’s Country Director in Kenya. “It will take years for farmlands and livestock to recover, and humanitarian assistance remains a lifeline.”

The United States Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has contributed US$390 million in 2022 and 2023 - the largest contribution by any single donor - to WFP’s emergency drought response in Kenya.

Dubbed ‘Lisha Jamii’ (Kiswahili for ‘feed families’), WFP’s response is providing families with cash transfers and in-kind food, as well as treating malnutrition in pregnant and breastfeeding women and children under five years of age.

“The generosity of the American people has enabled WFP to support the most vulnerable Kenyans through three years of drought and helped to prevent more people from falling into hunger and malnutrition – especially women and children,” says Landis.

The Lisha Jamii response will support families for the next six months, or until the next harvest season, in ten of the most drought-affected counties[1]

The United States Government is also supporting more than 600,000 refugees in Kenya with food and cash assistance in Kakuma, Kalobeyei and Dadaab refugee camps. 

Download photos and video news package and shot-list/script of the of Lisha Jamii food distributions in Turkana here (dated 12 and 13 May 2023).


#                 #                   #


The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media, @wfp_africa, @wfp_kenya


[1] Baringo, Garissa, Isiolo, Kitui, Marsabit, Mandera, Samburu, Tana River, Turkana, and Wajir


Kenya Funding Droughts Climate


For more information please contact (email address:

Georgina Stickels, WFP/ Nairobi,
Mob. +254 794 324 014

Martin Karimi, WFP/ Nairobi,
Mob. +254 707 722 161

Alessandro Abbonizio, WFP/ Nairobi,
Mob. +254 723 001 639