About the Situation
By the Numbers
More than 41,070,900 people live in Kenya
50% of the people in Kenya live below the poverty line
40%% of the population is unemployed
(Source: U.S. government)
Extended periods of drought have plagued Kenya for years, affecting the food supply and economy. According to the World Food Programme, recent rain seasons have helped alleviate food strains in the region, but with an impending La Nina weather pattern approaching, any improvements that have been made may be reversed.
Concomitant with food insecurity is high levels of malnutrition. Kenyan children, mothers and elderly are particularly susceptible to hunger-related illnesses and even death.
Staggering inflation rates and a lack of economic development have further stifled the country’s progress and have kept its people in poverty.
How Islamic Relief is Helping
Islamic ReliefTMhas been working in Kenya since 1993, when it initiated an orphan sponsorship program to provide many of Kenya’s children with opportunities for a brighter future. Islamic Relief Kenya was registered more than a decade later, in 2006, to maintain that program and to implement projects that would help alleviate food shortages caused by drought.Kenya was one of several African countries supported by IR’s Africa Food Crisis campaign.
Here’s a breakdown of some programs Islamic Relief has supported in Kenya:
ALTERNATIVE LIVELIHOOD TO PASTORALISTS AFFECTED BY CLIMATE CHANGE
The project aims to help improve community resilience, preparedness and food security, and also to empower refugee families and vulnerable pastoralists. By enhancing their livelihoods through increased food and fodder production; cash-for-work opportunities; business skills development; and mass vaccination for animals, nearly 18,000 people will be able to break through environmental limitations and move toward success.
STRENGTHENING HEALTH SYSTEMS TO IMPROVE MATERNAL, NEONATAL AND CHILD HEALTH
More than 62,200 children and women stand to benefit from this project, which provides support for maternal and child health services. The program includes the treatment of diseases including pneumonia, diarrhea and malaria; training community health workers on detecting dangerous signs and on preventative and promotive health services; provides access to health services previously unavailable; equips and supplies 10 health facilities; and more.
RAMADAN FOOD DISTRIBUTION
ENHANCING EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN IN DADAAB REFUGEE CAMP
This project enhanced the quality of and access to education for some 1,000 children living in the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. The camp is home to more than 450,000 people, mostly from Somalia and mostly children. By supporting the construction of 5 informal school facilities, which include latrines, hand-washing facilities and water tanks, the program created a safe, child-friendly environment conducive to learning. The schools also accommodated the needs of disabled children, and worked to raise awareness and advocate for the integration of all children into formal education.
EMERGENCY RESPONSE, INCLUDING WASH AND FOOD AID PROJECTS
Islamic Relief was on the ground in Kenya (as well as in Ethiopia and Somalia) to provide vital aid to survivors of the 2011 drought—considered the worst drought to hit the region in 60 years. More than 45,000 people in Kenya received emergency aid through efforts including food distribution; the construction of boreholes; water trucking; and supplemental feeding services for mothers and malnourished children.
INTEGRATED EMERGENCY RESPONSE IN NORTHERN KENYA
More than 12,500 people throughout the Mandera and Wajir districts in Kenya received emergency assistance to help them address immediate needs in response to drought and to improve their ability to cope with future humanitarian needs. Services Islamic Relief helped provide included the promotion and training of best hygiene and sanitation practices at schools and in communities; the distribution of medicines to health facilities; the provision of seeds and fuel subsidies to farmers; and health services for livestock.