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Publication | 2021

Kenya: Acute Food Insecurity and Acute Malnutrition Situation July 2021 - January 2022 (ASAL)

An estimated 2.1 million people (14% of the population in Arid and Semi- Arid Lands (ASAL)) are experiencing high levels of acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 or above) between July and October 2021. Compared to the same period in 2020, there is a 34 percent increase (by over 700,000 people) of people classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4). The deterioration and severity of food insecurity are mainly attributed to two consecutive poor performances of seasonal rainfall. The majority of these populations are in eight counties: Baringo, Garissa, Isiolo, Mandera, Marsabit, Tana River, Turkana and Wajir, which are regions with predominantly pastoral livelihoods.

In the projection period (November 2021 to January 2022), the population in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is also expected to increase from 1.8 million people to about 2 million people (13% of the population in ASAL) while the population in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) is likely to slightly increase from 355,000 to 368,000. Nine counties are expected to host a significant proportion of the population in IPC Phase 3 or above. Baringo County is expected to shift from Crisis to Stressed (IPC Phase 2), while Lamu and Kwale counties will like see a deterioration from Stressed to Crisis. This assumption is based on the likely continued poor performance of the 2021 ‘short rains’ season (OND), forecast to be below average. Overall, the food security situation will most likely worsen with an increase in the number of people experiencing high levels of acute food insecurity in counties in the ASAL region.

An estimated 652,960 children aged 6-59 months and 96,480 pregnant and lactating women require treatment of acute malnutrition. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic that is affecting all counties in the country, the caseload for children aged 6 to 59 months requires urgent attention. The nutrition situation has remained similar across arid counties compared to the August 2020 analysis. The malnutrition situation was Critical (IPC AMN Phase 4) in seven counties: Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, Samburu, Turkana, the North Horr & Laisamis sub-counties in Marsabit County and Tiaty in Baringo County.