Map of Kenya
UNICEF photo: A schoolgirl carries a jerrican of water across a dry riverbed in Marsabit County, Northern Kenya. © UNICEF Kenya/2009/d'Elbee A schoolgirl carries a jerrican of water across a dry riverbed in Marsabit County, Northern Kenya.


UNICEF requires an additional US$1.06 million to respond to the refugee influx from the South Sudan crisis, bringing its overall 2014 requirements to US$30.2 million.

South Sudan Conflict: Sub-regional Funding Priorities [PDF]

Inter-Agency Appeal for the South Sudanese Refugee Emergency (January - December 2014)

In 2014, UNICEF and partners plan for:

children under 15 provided with an integrated package of high impact maternal, new-born and child health interventions, including measles immunization


emergency-affected people provided with access to safe water


children in humanitarian situations have access to formal and non-formal education opportunities

2014 Requirements: US$30,158,812

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Total affected population: 1.15 million
Total affected children (under 18): 618,800

Total people to be reached in 2014: 874,400
Total children to be reached in 2014: 761,000

Kenya continues to face a number of critical humanitarian challenges precipitated by both internal triggers and a new influx of refugees from neighbouring countries. By the end of 2013 Kenya was hosting 600,000 refugees,1 the majority of whom are women and children requiring special protection. Since the beginning of the year 27,8792 refugees from South Sudan have been registered. Current planning assumptions indicate that number could grow to 100,0003 by the end of 2014. Continuous nutritional screening of arriving South Sudanese children under 5 has indicated an upward trend in malnutrition levels, already reaching emergency thresholds. Kenya registered the highest number of unaccompanied children among South Sudanese refugees in the region with more than 4,000 separated and unaccompanied children registered to date.

Across Kenya, nutrition surveys conducted in 2013 in arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) reported a reduction in acute malnutrition cases among children, from 300,000 to 285,800 cases. The total food insecure population is projected to be 1.29 million in 2014,4 with food insecurity persisting in most of the ASALs. Poor rainfall is predicted for the ‘short rains’ season,5 which has led to concerns that the situation will deteriorate, especially in the marginal agricultural livelihood zones. Children are vulnerable to frequent disease outbreaks, including measles and cholera, due to poor routine health services, flooding and cross-border population movements. Nearly one in three girls and one in five boys experience one episode of sexual violence before the age of 18.6 With 1.2 million people living with HIV,7 HIV prevention and treatment remains critical during humanitarian response. Recurring natural disasters and conflicts increase protection concerns and risks, compromising education for 358,000 children in drought-prone areas.8 Despite efforts to initiate voluntary repatriation of refugees, the majority do not want to return, and thus remain vulnerable and require life-saving multi-sector humanitarian assistance, including protection and other durable solutions. In addition to the refugee population, 52,000 people9 are internally displaced in Kenya as a result of inter-communal conflicts.

Humanitarian strategy

2014 programme targets


  • 43,540 children in humanitarian situations aged 6 to 59 months affected by severe acute malnutrition (SAM) admitted to community-based management programmes
  • 149,400 children in humanitarian situations aged 6 to 59 months affected by moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) admitted to integrated management of acute malnutrition programmes


  • 761,000 children under 15 provided with an integrated package of high impact maternal, newborn and child health interventions, including measles immunization
  • 500,700 children with diarrhoeal disease having access to life-saving curative interventions including oral rehydration therapy and zinc


  • 150,000 emergency-affected people provided with access to safe water
  • 150,000 children and women receive critical WASH-related information to prevent child illness

Child protection

  • 60,000 children and women in humanitarian situations accessing protective interventions, including psychosocial support, legal aid and case management


  • 270,250 children in humanitarian situations have access to formal and non-formal education opportunities

In 2014, UNICEF will work with the Government of Kenya and partners to meet the humanitarian needs of 1.15 million vulnerable people, including new South Sudanese refugees. In line with the Inter-Agency Appeal for the South Sudanese Refugees Emergency (2014), UNICEF will expand service provision to new refugees while continuing to reduce the vulnerability of the previously targeted humanitarian caseload. This will be accomplished by supporting preventative action for acute malnutrition and illnesses, providing effective and scaled treatment for acute malnutrition and strengthening coordination within decentralized structures. UNICEF will also provide technical support to scale up the Case Management System for children with acute protection concerns and support county governments and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) through the procurement of vaccines to respond to measles outbreaks and malaria upsurges. UNICEF will focus on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in schools, health facilities and feeding centres, and will use schools to disseminate information and promote children’s rights. UNICEF will support partners to provide children and women living with HIV with essential HIV-related services, prepare for the rapid provision of a buffer supply of medication and provide HIV information through comprehensive community education initiatives. Particular emphasis will be given to the development of a child protection system that prevents and responds to violence, abuse, neglect and family separation, even during crisis. Recognizing that children are at the centre of the resilience agenda, UNICEF will support investments that empower communities and enhance their resilience to multiple and recurrent shocks, to reduce the impact of diseases and lessen chronic vulnerability. UNICEF will also provide technical support to facilitate the inclusion of children’s rights, disaster risk reduction and early recovery approaches in the county emergency preparedness and integrated development plans and budgets. UNICEF will strengthen its role as sector co-lead in the nutrition, education, WASH and child protection sectors. Scalable strategies for programme delivery in high-risk security environments will be adapted to facilitate the continuation of essential interventions.

Results from 2013

UNICEF appealed for US$34,343,885 for 2013, and as of the end of October 2013, a total of US$17,673,249, or 51 per cent of requirements, had been received in contributions. In 2013, UNICEF’s response focused on maintaining optimum levels of programme coverage and continuing to strengthen and develop systems. WASH, education, and child protection were each funded by 40 per cent or less, however, which hindered results for children. Despite this, the number of health facilities implementing high-impact nutrition interventions increased from 976 in 2012 to 1,062 by October 2013, which meant that more children accessed treatment for acute malnutrition. Routine vitamin A coverage at health facilities remained low, with poor access for children between 1 and 5 years. Approximately 200,000 people were provided with quality water, improved sanitation facilities and hygiene promotion messages in schools and health facilities. Over 650,000 people received WASH-related information and training to prevent water-borne diseases. Apart from supporting polio campaigns targeting 5.5 million people, including children, in Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps, UNICEF helped establish 160 community health units in Dadaab for improved community case management of diarrhoea, including cholera outbreaks. UNICEF and partners enhanced community outreach and protection service provisions in Dadaab refugee camps, where 29,441 children are accessing the child education and welfare centres. In areas experiencing prolonged drought, 15,336 households benefited from cash transfer programmes, while over 177,000 children received education supplies and early childhood development services.

Results through October 2013 except for nutrition and health, for which results are through the end of November 2013.

Funding requirements

In line with the inter-agency Kenya Humanitarian Strategy for 2014 and the Inter-Agency Appeal for the South Sudanese Refugee Emergency (2014), UNICEF is requesting US$30,158,812 to meet the urgent humanitarian needs of children and build the capacities of communities and local and national service delivery systems to enhance resilience to recurrent shocks. Without additional funding, gains in programme coverage and coordination may be lost, and women and children faced with multiple shocks, including food crises, drought and temporary or protracted displacement, will not receive timely assistance to fulfil their basic needs and realize their basic rights.

1 Ibid.
2 19 March 2014 UNHCR Kakuma Refugee Camp Situation Report.
3 March 2014, UNHCR Kenya Contingency Plan for South Sudan projects the arrival of 100,000 South Sudanese refugees in two temporal phases. 20,000 in Phase 1, i.e. most likely within the first six months of 2014, followed by 80,000 for the entire year.
4 The 2013 Short Rains Assessment (SRA) conducted in February 2014 under the auspices of the Kenya Food Security Steering Group (KFSSG) predicts that the overall number of people in need of relief assistance has increased from 850,000 in September 2013 to a projected 1.29 million in the March-August 2014 period. SRA, however, does not indicate significant deterioration in the humanitarian situation in ASALs. During the Kenya Humanitarian Strategy Meeting led by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in mid-November 2013, however, the Kenya Humanitarian Partnership Group (the Inter-Agency Standing Committee in Kenya) agreed to continue planning for an affected population of 1.1 million for 2014.
5 The ‘short rains’ season takes place from October through November/December.
6  United Nations Children’s Fund Kenya Country Office, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, ‘Violence Against Children in Kenya: Findings from a 2010 National Survey’, Nairobi, 2012.
7  Kenya Ministry of Health National AIDS and STI Control Programme, ‘Kenya AIDS Indicator Survey 2012: Preliminary Report’, Nairobi, September 2013.
8 United Nations, ‘Kenya Emergency Humanitarian Response Plan Mid-Year Review 2013’, June 2013.
9 Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, ‘Kenya: Inter-communal conflict by district’ (January 2013 – June 2013), 10 July 2013.
10 In Urban areas, there are approximately 44,800 acutely malnourished children under 5, and most of these children are residents of informal settlements. UNICEF decided to include data for urban areas beginning in May 2013.
11 UNICEF and sector targets are the same because UNICEF provides technical and supply support to all integrated management of acute malnutrition programmes. The caseload calculation is based on the specific SAM prevalence in ASAL and urban areas: SAM incidence of 1.6 and coverage of more than 50 per cent in ASAL, more than 70 per cent in urban areas and more than 90 per cent in refugee camps.
12 MAM coverage below 50 per cent is affected by several factors, including limited awareness and access, insecurity in northern Kenya, population movement and staff and capacity shortages in health facilities.
13 Vitamin A coverage through routine health facility systems remains low, with poor access among older children who miss attendance after completion of immunization in the first year.
14 A polio outbreak was declared in Kenya on 10 May 2013. Five rounds of emergency polio vaccination campaigns targeting 127 districts were conducted along the Kakuma-Nairobi-Dadaab corridor, where approximately 5.2 million out of 5.5 million children were vaccinated. The increase in coverage from 1.2 million to 5.2 million was due to expanded coverage to districts beyond the northern Kenyan district, which showed a high risk of polio virus transmission. Additionally, the target population increased from children under 5 initially to children over 5. Adults were also included in Dadaab refugee camps.
15WASH activities focus on schools, health facilities and the communities within the catchment area of the health centres. Since 2011, WASH activities have been imbedded within the nutrition section programme cooperation agreement addressing integrated management of acute malnutrition in feeding centres in the arid areas of northern Kenya. In 2013, considerable achievements were recorded by non-governmental organizations with WASH officers conducting hygiene promotion activities within the UNICEF-supported feeding centres.
16 Target is above 100 per cent due to outreach activities, formation of child-friendly spaces management committees and inclusion of data from country programmes for children.
17 Attributed to the relatively calm 2013 Kenya elections.
18 Target is low due to the late start of programme cooperation agreements, which affected the reports received.
19 Refers to the number of children and teachers reached through education in emergencies interventions, including: provision of learning materials, school WASH activities, construction, rehabilitation of classrooms and teacher training.
20 UNICEF target consists of 66 per cent of the cluster target.
21 Some of the activities were completed in October and November 2013, when cumulatively, 30 per cent of the targeted children were reached, though only 35 per cent of the total funding was received during the reporting period. The numbers include 21,900 children reached through supplies in Mandera, Marasabit, Wajir and Kisumu, and 1,121 children and youth reached through an alternative basic education programme in Dadaab.