Government Announces Sharp Decline in Number of Hungry Kenyans

August 31, 2023

The country’s food security has significantly improved as a result of sufficient rainfall during the primary March to May rainy period. East African Community (EAC) Cabinet Secretary Ms. Rebecca Miano reports that the number of Kenyans facing food insecurity due to drought has decreased from 4.4 million to 2.8 million.

The Cabinet Secretary made the pronouncement on Wednesday during the unveiling of an assessment report at the Ewaso Ng’iro South Development Authority (ENSDA) offices in Narok.

In reference to the study carried out between the 10th and 21st of July this year, the CS said the condition in the 23 Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) counties showed tremendous improvement.

However, the report showed Turkana, Marsabit, and Mandera remain in a state of ‘crisis’ while the rest have improved to a ‘stressed’ phase of food insecurity.

“Of the population facing acute food insecurity in ASAL counties, 2.3M are in ‘Crisis’ (Phase 3) of the Acute Integrated Food Security Phase Classification while the other 0.5 million are in Emergency Phase (IPC 4)” the report shows.

The number of lactating mothers facing malnutrition also witnessed a decline, decreasing from 144,914 in February to 142,179.

CS Miano attributed this to the increased efforts undertaken by the government to tackle the nutrition and food security challenges in the region.

Despite the improvements, malnutrition was still high in some Arid counties such as Turkana in particular Turkana South, North Horr (Marsabit), West Pokot, Mandela, Isiolo, Tana River, and Tiaty (Baringo).

The nutrition situation in ASALs has also improved across most counties, with an estimated 945,610 children aged 6 to 59 months and 144,940 pregnant and lactating women requiring management of acute malnutrition, down from 970,214 and 142,179 reported in February respectively.

The assessment of the impact of 2023 long rains season was conducted by a multi-disciplinary & multi-agency team of the Kenya Food Security Steering Group.

The study was done in 23 ASAL counties in collaboration with County Steering Groups.

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