UNICEF Kenya Humanitarian Situation Report No. 7, January – December 2022

Throughout 2022, the drought situation remained critical in 221 of the 23 ASAL counties due to poor performance of October to December 2022 rains, coupled with four previous consecutive failed rainfall seasons, affecting about 4.52 million people, (compared to 2.13 million in September 2021), of these approximately 2.144 million are children.


UNICEF’s emergency funding requirement which is aligned to revised HAC 2022 and Kenya Flash appeal stood at US$ 126.9 million with funding gap of US$ 74 million (58 per cent).


UNICEF reached 1,089,060 (41 per cent of target) people (261,048 girls, 250,810 boys, 294,373 women, 282,829 men) with Health, HIV/AIDS, Nutrition WASH, Child Protection, Education, Social Protection and Social Behaviour Change humanitarian interventions through technical, financial, capacity strengthening and coordination support for resilience-building, disaster risk analysis, risk-informed preparedness and integrated emergency service delivery to drought, floods, disease outbreaks (including Cholera and Measles), COVID-19 and refugee crisis.




2,140,000 Children in need of humanitarian assistance


4,500,000 People in need of humanitarian assistance


238,373 Children 6-59 months requiring SAM treatment


4,400,000 People who lack access to safe water




Up to August 2022, UNICEF Kenya Humanitarian Action for Children 2022 (HAC) appeal was for USD 30.8 million to support critical lifesaving and protective interventions for the most vulnerable girls, boys, women and men in the arid and semi-arid (ASAL) counties, refugee camps and urban informal settlements affected by drought and the spin-off economic effects of COVID-19.


With the severe drought situation deteriorating, UNICEF Kenya revised its HAC 2022 due to the increased people in need and in line with the revision of the Kenya Inter-Agency Drought Flash Appeal 2022, increasing the financial requirements to USD 126.9 million to provide life-saving services to the drought-affected children and women. Approximately USD 53.1 million (42 per cent) has been received against the HAC, of which USD 51 million is for drought response, (new funds, carry-over and repurposed UNICEF regular resources), and USD 2.1 million is for refugee response, leaving a funding gap of USD 73.7 million (58 per cent). Soft funding pipeline is approximately USD 13 million mainly from USAID/BHA, ECHO EDF, Education Cannot Wait ECW, Australian Natcom – Horn of Africa Drought and FCDO for various UNICEF sectors delivering critical lifesaving interventions.


The new government has scaled up its leadership and coordination role for partners responding to the drought emergency. According to the National Drought Management Authority, the Government of Kenya (GoK) expenditure to date, is approximately KES 13.7 billion (USD 100 million) out of the KES 15.63 billion (USD 135 million) allocated for the 2021/22 financial year on emergency cash, relief food, livestock, water provision, school feeding and RUTF in drought affected counties.


The European Commission/ECHO, USAID, Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the Government of Japan, Norway, Irish Aid, German Natcom, Netherlands Committee for UNICEF, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Japan Committee for UNICEF, and UN OCHA (CERF) have generously contributed to UNICEF Kenya’s humanitarian response against the HAC and drought flash appeal. UNICEF continues to support the Government of Kenya at both the National and County level, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and other humanitarian partners to respond to girls, boys, women and men affected by the drought, refugees and COVID-19 spin-off effects.




In 2022, Kenya continued to experience a severe drought whilst at the same time responding to other shocks: the remaining socioeconomic impact of COVID-19, floods, disease outbreaks (Yellow Fever, Measles and Cholera) as well as the need to respond to the refugees. Kenya also faced two additional potential risks – election-related violence and Ebola outbreak – requiring intensified multi-agency preparedness.


As of 31 December 2022, the drought situation in the Arid and SemiArid Lands (ASALs) remains critical in 22 of the 23 ASAL counties due to the late onset and poor performance of the October to December 2022 rains, coupled with four previous consecutive failed rainy seasons that resulted in an increase in the people in need of humanitarian assistance to 4.5 million people (up from 2.1 million in September 202113 ), of which approximately 2.14 million are children. Nine counties are in ALARM phase, 13 are in ALERT phase and only one is in the NORMAL phase.


The caseload of children, 6-59 months that are acutely malnourished and in need of treatment is 884,46413, of which 222,720 suffer from severe acute malnutrition, up from 111,141 in August 2021 and 159 653 in February 2022. A total of 115,725 pregnant and lactating women are acutely malnourished and in need of treatment. The main drivers of malnutrition include acute food insecurity characterized by low milk availability due to below-average milk production in 21 of the 23 ASAL counties, unfavorable terms of trade for livestock and crops, high food prices, increased morbidity and water stress which continued throughout the year. SMART surveys are ongoing in 6 counties (Turkana, Marsabit, Mandera, Isiolo, Tana River and Wajir) to inform the analysis/SRA scheduled for 30th Jan – 16th February 2023. According to FEWSNET, in the pastoral areas, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes will likely remain widespread as households continue to have limited access to food and income and rely on Government and humanitarian assistance.


Lack of access to safe water is affecting 4.416 million people who are in need of comprehensive WASH interventions in the 23 ASAL Counties. In Mandera County, water coverage has fallen as low as 17% in the worst-affected sub-counties. The level of the water tables has significantly decreased, resulting in low yields, overuse and increased breakdowns of boreholes, further exacerbated by the drying up of open water sources. Women and girls are having to travel further (up to 15 km) and wait longer for water at boreholes (up to 6 hours), exposing them to heightened risk of gender-based violence. Individual water consumption has reduced to 4-8 liters per person per day in the worst affected areas, which is well below the standard minimum of 15 liters per person per day.


Around 20 to 30 per cent18 of the population in ASALs have minimal to no access to essential health services and are mainly served through biweekly integrated health outreaches. Outpatient attendance in health facilities have reduced due to several factors including population movement, poorly supplied health facilities, insecurity, and the inadequate scale of outreaches. The availability of essential medicines in health facilities in the ASAL counties has worsened, with average of 67.5% drug stock-out rates for the 12 tracer commodities reported in Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, Marsabit, Tana River, Samburu and Turkana in November 2022.


An estimated 1.5 million learners in the drought affected counties need support to remain in school. Over 400,000 learners are impacted directly by drought with an estimated 66,000 learners not attending school due to the drought. The main drivers of school absenteeism that is increasing the risk of learners dropping out are: the migration of families in search for water; reduced water availability in schools; the lack of school meals; the inability to pay school fees and children caring for livestock.


Lack of sufficient WASH infrastructure and water supply is contributing to the spread of the current cholera outbreak in 10 of the drought-affected counties. The first cholera case was reported on the 8th October 2022. As of 23 January 2023 4,186 cases and 78 deaths (CFR 1.9%), of which 1,833 (44.6%) are from Garissa County (of which 1,807 cases are in the Dadaab refugee camps), followed by Tana River County with 598 (14.6%) and Wajir County with 209 cases (11.4%). Up to 51% of the cumulative cases are males, while 49% are females; and 40% are in the 0-10 years age group. Of the 72 cumulative deaths, 75% are males and 25% are females. Up to 40% of cases are children and 30% of deaths are children under five.


In July 2022, a Yellow Fever outbreak was reported in Isiolo and Garissa Counties, with 123 cases (3 cases confirmed) and 11 deaths. A measles outbreak was also reported in Marsabit, Wajir, Garissa (including Dadaab refugee camps), Turkana, and Mandera Counties, with 390 cases (83 confirmed) and 2 deaths (CFR 0.9%).


Kenya continues to record new COVID-19 cases in 2022. Since 13th March 2020, when the first case was confirmed in Kenya, 342,639 confirmed cases and 5,688 deaths have been reported.


By 25 March 2022, a total of 29,000 households (145,000 people) were affected by floods, and about 8,850 households (44,250 people) had been displaced across Kisumu, Siaya, Migori, Busia, Homabay, Baringo, Tana River, Taita Taveta, Nairobi, and Nakuru Counties. A total of 4,752 acres of agricultural land in 12 counties was destroyed (Kisumu, Homa Bay, Busia, Migori, Tana River, Taita Taveta, Nairobi, Narok, Trans Nozia, Elgeyo Marakawet, Siaya, Isiolo, and Marsabit). A joint assessment carried out by Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) and other stakeholders in Western Kenya in May 2022, reported that people were still living in 9 camps as their shelter had been rendered inhabitable.


A total of 573,508 refugees and asylum seekers continue to live in Kenya, of which 53.4 per cent are from Somalia, 25.1 per cent from South Sudan, 8.9 per cent from Congo, 5.6 per cent from Ethiopia and the remaining are from other nationalities. Out of this 43 per cent live in Kakuma/Kalobeyei, 41 per cent are in Dadaab camps and 16 per cent in urban settlements. UNHCR has reported that over 80,00023 refugees from Somalia fleeing drought and conflict have arrived at Dadaab Refugee Camps and are in urgent need of shelter and other basic services. To accommodate the newly arrived refugees, the Government of Kenya has agreed to the reopening of IFO 2 camp.


Source: UN Children’s Fund


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