Friday 14 August 2020
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reliefweb - 1 month ago

Kenya Food Security Outlook Update, June 2020 to January 2021

Country: Kenya Sources: Government of Kenya, Famine Early Warning System Network, World Food Programme COVID-19 restrictions and flooding from above-average March-May rains drive acute food insecurity KEY MESSAGES COVID-19 control measures and flooding from the above-average March to May long rains have driven widespread Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes, with households in rural and urban areas in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). The population in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) has increased from February 2020. Overall, the above-average March-May short rains led to favorable crop conditions across the country, except in parts of Taita Taveta and Makueni where the rains ended early in late April, and in Nyeri, where rainfall was excessive. Food availability continues to improve with the harvest of early planted crops, vegetables, and green harvests. As of June 30, 2020, Kenya has reported 6,366 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 148 fatalities. The rising number of COVID-19 cases has led to a 30-day extension of the national curfew, social distancing requirements, and enforcement of containment zones at Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps. The movement restrictions in and out of Nairobi metropolitan area, Mombasa, and Mandera have negatively impacted household incomes, and this alongside increases in food and non-food commodity prices is affecting urban poor households capacity to meet their basic food and non-food needs. In May, the price of maize was 8-22 percent above the five-year average in Nairobi, Garissa, and Mandera, while bean prices were 14-38 percent above average in Nairobi, Mombasa, Eldoret, Makueni and Kitui due to increased demand, and a slowdown in cross-border trade flows due to mandatory COVID-19 testing/screening. Across both urban and rural markets, prices are average or below-average due to traders dumping of stocks in anticipation of the long rains harvests, the availability of substitutes, and lower-priced cross-border imports. Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes persist across pastoral areas as below-normal livestock assets from previous poor seasons and limited incomes impact poor households ability to meet their non-food needs. Despite this, milk production is above average across most counties and average to above-average goat-to-maize terms of trade is supporting poor pastoral households meeting their food needs. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are present in Tana Riverine and Mandera Riverine livelihood zones due to successive flooding events that have led households to lose their crops, homes, and access to typical livelihood activities. Seasonal forecasts suggest that a below-average October to December 2020 short rains season is likely. While pasture and vegetation conditions across much of the country are well above the median currently, a deterioration is likely in late 2020. Preliminary research suggests there is a possibility for a below-average March to May 2021 season, which will likely result in an increase in acute food insecurity in 2020 due to consecutive below-average rainfall seasons.

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