© UNICEF/NYHQ2006-0174/Kamber

Women carry provisions home from a feeding centre in the village of Raya in North-Eastern Province. The number of acutely malnourished children almost tripled in 2009, and 2 million children now require humanitarian assistance to meet their basic food needs.

Critical Issues for Children and Women

Four consecutive failed rainy seasons and persistently high food prices have severely impacted children and women in Kenya.  During the course of 2009, the number of children suffering from acute malnutrition almost tripled; it is estimated that currently 242,000 children under five suffer from moderate acute malnutrition and a further 39,000 suffer from severe acute malnutrition.  In total, some 3.8 million people – including 2 million children – now require humanitarian assistance to meet their basic food needs.  Additional flooding, displacement and disease outbreaks are expected in early 2010.

Planned Humanitarian Action for 2010

In 2010, UNICEF will work with the Government of Kenya, United Nations agencies and NGO partners to respond to the needs of up to 3 million children affected by ongoing and multiple emergencies in Kenya.  UNICEF will continue to support the Government in sectoral coordination for emergencies (cluster functions) in water, sanitation and hygiene, nutrition and education, as well as child protection, in line with the Core Commitments for Children.  The focus will be on ensuring access to essential health and nutrition services, safe drinking water, appropriate sanitation and hygiene, education and an improved protective environment for children, as well as strengthening humanitarian action efforts linking preparedness to recovery and coordinating health and gender-based violence interventions. Following are the expected results of UNICEF’s emergency interventions:

Health: UNICEF will work to minimize the health impact of emergencies on children under five and pregnant mothers through the support of integrated outreach services, targeted vaccination campaigns, and procurement and distribution of essential medical supplies and insecticide-treated mosquito nets.

Nutrition: High rates of acute malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies, and concomitant mortality and morbidity among children under five and pregnant and lactating mothers, will be addressed through improved access to therapeutic feeding centres and supplementary feeding programmes.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH): Reliable safe water supply and proper sanitation and hygiene facilities will be made available for emergency-affected people. Support will also be provided to 200,000 people displaced by the post-election violence or made vulnerable to political or resource-based conflicts. 

Education: Up to 150,000 emergency-affected school-aged boys and girls will have improved access to a quality education in a safe learning environment that promotes protection and the mental and emotional well-being of learners through provision of essential school materials and the training of teachers in psychosocial support and life skills.

Child Protection: Together with the Department of Children’s Services and other partners, UNICEF will focus on developing child protection systems in areas prone to natural disasters and conflict, with specific ongoing emergency interventions for at least 50,000 vulnerable children.

Cross Sectoral Preparedness & Coordination: Emergency preparedness systems to identify and protect the rights of children will be expanded through joint contingency planning and integration of cross-cutting issues such as HIV/AIDS, gender, human rights and the environment into emergency planning and response.

Summary of UNICEF Emergency Needs to fulfil
Core Commitments for Children for 2010
Sector US$
Health 3,500,000
Nutrition 8,719,000
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) 5,587,000
Education 2,196,000
Child Protection 2,090,245
Cross Sectoral Preparedness & Coordination 1,000,000
Total 23,092,245