• 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

  • 54,536,000 Total population [?]
  • 16,922,000 People affected [?]
  • 4,923,000 People in Need [?]

Special Reports




Kenya is currently facing two humanitarian crises – the drought and the refugee crisis. Arid and semiarid counties, which make up nearly 80% of Kenya’s landmass, are experiencing drought conditions. Kenya has been hosting refugees displaced from neighbouring countries since 1991. At least 525,000 refugees are currently present in Kenya, mostly displaced from Somalia and South Sudan. The majority of them has taken shelter in Dadaab and Kakuma camps, located in Garissa and Turkana counties respectively, which are arid areas affected by the drought. ?

Communities living in arid and semiarid regions (30% of Kenya's population) are often marginalised, with inadequate social services, poor physical infrastructure, and highly dispersed human settlements. They also face higher levels of poverty compared to the rest of the country. Their source of livelihood – pastoralism and small-scale agriculture – has been affected by the drought, particularly after the below-average rainy season in March–May 2021.?

INFORM measures Kenya’s risk of humanitarian crisis and disaster to be high, at 5.7/10. The risk of drought is particularly high, at 6.9/10. Vulnerability is also of particular concern at 6/10. ?

Latest Developments


Kenya is experiencing the worst drought in 40 years, declared in September 2021. 21 out of 23 ASAL counties are experiencing drought following the fourth failed rainy season. Between 80–90% of reservoirs and dams are drying up in northern Kenya. About 942,000 cases of acutely malnourished children between 6–59 months were recorded in 2022, mainly resulting from drought and lack of food. The drought crisis is leading to the use of coping mechanisms with particularly harmful effects on women and children. Limited water availability pushes women and girls to go fetch water in distant places, putting them at a higher risk of gender-based violence during the journey. Food insecurity and lack of nutrients, as well as lack of maternal healthcare facilities and antenatal check-ups, constitute a risk for the health of pregnant and lactating women. Children’s education is disrupted as some families are forced to drop their children from school to internally migrate or help search for food and water.?

Humanitarian Access


High constraints

Kenya continues to experience high access constraints. The registration of refugees through the Refugee Status Determination process is a prerequisite for receiving assistance, but the rate of new refugee arrivals into Kenya outpaces their registration. The lack of a formalised reception system to identify newly arrived refugees as they reach refugee camps further delays their access to assistance. The overall perception within Kakuma refugee camp that refugees from Uganda are part of the LGBTQ+ community often leads to refugees facing violence and discrimination when trying to access humanitarian services. This discrimination has been entrenched by the Government’s stance against homosexuality and laws that make homosexual acts illegal.

Trucks transporting supplies face extortion at various security checkpoints erected along different roads. As the impact of drought has worsened, resource-based conflicts have increased in Marsabit, Samburu, and Turkana counties. Garissa, Mandera, and Tana River counties also face insecurity because of sporadic attacks by Al-Shabaab. Nutrition outreach programmes to some drought-affected areas have been suspended because of insecurity.

For more information you can consult our latest Global Humanitarian Access Overview – December 2022.




Electoral violence and increased intercommunal conflict throughout Kenya result in displacement, livelihood disruptions, and protection concerns

Despite some episode of electoral violence, this risk has not materialised as expected. The Kenyan general elections took place on 9 August 2022. In the pre-electoral period and during the campaign from 1 January to 5 August, around 800 protests occurred. This figure is an almost 300% increase from the same period before the 2017 general elections polling day (270 protests). About half of the 800 were violent and killed nearly 100 people. Protests were particularly violent in April during party primaries?. In Laikipia county, drought and the divisive campaign rhetoric contributed to intercommunal violence?. The election day on 9 August was largely peaceful, but there were violent disruptions to the scheduled polling in a few areas, such as Eldas constituency (Wajir county)?.

Shortly before the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission announced the outcome of the presidential elections on 15 August, some supporters of one of the candidates attempted, without effect, to use physical force to prevent the announcement?. There were also violent protests in Kisumu city and some informal settlements in Nairobi (Baba Dogo, Kawangware, Kibera, and Mathare) after the announcement of the outcome of the presidential elections. Calm was restored, however, and the protests did not continue after 15 August?. In a ruling made on 5 September, the Supreme Court of Kenya rejected petitions challenging the outcome of the presidential elections. Calm prevailed countywide after the Supreme Court ruling, and William Ruto was inaugurated as the fifth president of Kenya on 13 September?.

Read the February 2022 Risk Analysis here.