• Crisis Severity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints

Key figures

  • 51,393,000 Total population [?]
  • 11,193,000 People affected [?]
  • 1,480,000 People in Need [?]



Kenya hosts one of the largest refugee populations in Africa, over 495,000, including more than 265,000 from Somalia. ?

Continuing dry conditions across the country have led to the deterioration of livestock and crop productivity, above average food prices, and the reduction of water availability. These factors have led to increased food insecurity, which has risen by approximately 60% across the country since mid-May 2019. Current projections suggest that food insecurity will continue to worsen, with 3.1 million people predicted to be in crisis phase or higher.?

Intercommunal tensions have also increased as a result of heightened competition for land and other resources. ? As pastoralists are forced to move farther and farther in search of pastureland and water for their livestock, there is an increasing risk they will come into conflict with farmers and landowners, and there have already been reports of sporadic violence.? Experience from past droughts suggests the risk of violence might escalate if drought conditions continue.

Insecurity particularly affects the counties bordering Somalia, with Al Shabaab conducting sporadic attacks against civilians and state security forces. Various disease outbreaks are affecting Kenya, including cholera and Rift Valley Fever. ?

INFORM measures Kenya's risk of humanitarian crisis and disaster to be high, at 6.0/10. ?

Latest Developments


A new wave of cholera has been confirmed in Marsabit and Turkana counties. Local authorities and the Ministry of Health have reported 268 cases in Marsabit and 222 cases in Turkana as of 29 May,. At least 13 people have died, mostly children younger than 10 years old, and the Kakuma Refugee Camp has reported at least 25 cases. Both counties have experienced flooding since April, leading to an increase in usage of contaminated water. This has likely contributed to the resurgence cholera following an outbreak that was reportedly contained in February. Cholera is also being reported in several other flood-affected counties, including Garissa, Muranga, and Wajir.?

To see the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Kenya, see the relevant paragraph below.

Humanitarian Access



Kenya has high access constraints as a result of May 2020 flooding, which affected 36 out of 47 counties in the country. Roads, bridges, health facilities and schools have all been damaged with landslides worsening the damage originally caused by the heavy rains. More generally, Kenya’s southeastern, southern and northern regions remain remote and isolated limiting accessibility by roads and through communication.?

Read more in the latest ACAPS Humanitarian Access Overview.

Desert Locust Outbreak


The Horn of Africa is suffering from the worst desert locust infestation in decades. Since July 2019, eight countries have been most affected: Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania. As of February 2020, an estimated 140,000 hectares of crops have been infested in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia, and the situation continues to worsen.?

Widespread rainfall in late March allowed new swarms to mature and lay eggs and a second wave of locusts is expected in June and July, coinciding with the start of harvest season. Projections put this second wave up to 20 times larger than previous bands. In Kenya, experts are warning that 100% of summer crops could be destroyed, and large swarms continue to move from Uganda into South Sudan. In Somalia, the infestation is the worst in 25 years as locust continue to breed in the northeast. In Ethiopia, the locust infestation has led to the loss of majorly consumed cereal, including sorghum and maize, reduced pastureland for cattle, and increased animal deaths due to unavailable fodder.?

The ability of desert locusts to form large swarms and consume vast quantities of crops pose severe risks to food security and livelihoods in the affected countries, where more than 20.2 million people already face IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) or higher levels of food insecurity.?

Impact of COVID-19


The Kenyan government has extended containment measures to Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps, which collectively host 400,000 people, banning all entry and exit to the camps and the surrounding host community. This is an extension of the lockdown that has so far been placed on localized areas, including the Nairobi metropolitan area, Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi, and Mandera, counties.

Vital humanitarian supplies, including medicine and food, will be allowed to enter and exit the area. All other humanitarian movement will be allowed on a case by case basis. 

The addition of the refugee camps and host communities in the lockdown comes after NGOs and UN Agencies expressed concern about an outbreak in the camps and the lack of infrastructure to handle a high caseload. Dadaab, has only one COVID-19 facility which includes 110 beds.?

The ACAPS team is monitoring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information related to the outbreak, see the ACAPS COVID-19 Project.