© UNICEF/NYHQ2006-0163/Kamber

A Masai woman reads to her children in Kajiado Village, near Nairobi. Only four of the family’s 80 cows survived a recent drought. Today, more than 40,000 Kenyan children suffer from severe acute malnutrition.

Children and women in crisis

While 2010 has seen some improvement in the humanitarian situation in Kenya, progress is tempered by the chronic vulnerabilities of emergency-affected populations. Despite recent good rainfalls, high food prices and the lingering impact of the 2007–2009 drought have mitigated recovery. More than 40,000 children are suffering from severe acute malnutrition1 and weather patterns predicted for 2011 could introduce another period of drought. The current influx of Somali refugees, coupled with the potential for displaced populations from the Sudan, adds to concerns about refugee and host community welfare and the vulnerability of children and women.

Meeting urgent needs and building resilience in 2011

UNICEF, together with the Government of Kenya, other UN agencies and NGOs, will focus on assisting the most vulnerable people in affected areas of the country. UNICEF co-lead the nutrition, education, child protection and WASH clusters along with the relevant government ministry.2 UNICEF expects to reach 1.9 million people living in emergency conditions in 2011, including around 988,000 girls and 912,000 boys.

Humanitarian funding at work: Highlights from 2010

In mid-2010, an estimated US$23,092,245 was needed for UNICEF’s humanitarian activities in Kenya. As of October 2010, a total of US$14,177,026 (61 per cent of the revised request) had been received. By year-end these funds enabled UNICEF to achieve a number of important results for children and women, including: 18,350 children treated for severe acute malnutrition, with a recovery rate of 84 per cent. Measles immunization reached 284,000 children under 5 years old. Safe water was supplied to 313,000 people struggling with drought, flood or cholera; 31,500 children had access to gender-appropriate hygiene and sanitation services; and 26,500 flood-affected students were able to continue their education despite emergency conditions.

Funding requirements for 2011

UNICEF is requesting US$16,168,000 for its 2011 humanitarian work in Kenya. UNICEF has aligned its request with the 2011 Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) requirements. This amount represents a decrease of almost US$7 million compared to 2010 due to improvements in the food security situation; however, continued funding is required to support recovery and prevent deterioration.

More information on achievements of 2010 and the humanitarian action planned for Kenya in 2011 can be found at www.unicef.org/hac2011 or at the country office website, www.unicef.org/kenya.

1 Office of the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Kenya, ‘Kenya Humanitarian Update’, vol. 65, United Nations, New York, 17 October–15 November 2010, p. 3.
2 UNICEF co-leads the nutrition cluster with the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation of Kenya, education cluster with the Ministry of Education; the child protection cluster with the Ministry of Gender and Children’s Affairs; and the WASH cluster with the Ministry of Water and Irrigation. 

UNICEF Emergency Needs for 2011 (in US dollars) Total $16,168,000