About the Situation
By the Numbers
More than 43 million people live in Kenya
46% of the people in Kenya live below the poverty line
40% of the population is unemployed
(Sources: U.S. government and the World Bank)
Extended periods of drought have plagued Kenya for years. Climate strongly affects the country’s food supply and economy, which can fluctuate frequently depending on the rain and security situation in the region. Food security in Kenya’s northern and northeastern pastoral zones deteriorated in 2013, according to the World Food Program, due to a below-normal harvest that followed poor main-season rains combined with floods and tropical storms late in the year.
Concomitant with food insecurity is high levels of malnutrition. Kenyan children, mothers and elderly are particularly susceptible to hunger-related illnesses and death. Conflict in nearby countries also has strained Kenya.
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.
INTEGRATED HEALTH AND NUTRITION PROGRAM TO SUPPORT REFUGEES IN DADAAB CAMP
About 100,000 Somali refugees living in Dadaab camp will receive access to health and nutrition services for about 12 months to help improve the their health; to provide environments that enable children to learn; to improve sanitation facilities; and to rehabilitate and build clean water sources.
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.