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Persistent high staple food prices continue to drive food insecurity

  • Key Message Update
  • Kenya
  • September 2017
Persistent high staple food prices continue to drive food insecurity

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Following the Supreme Court ruling that nullified the August 8 presidential election results and ordered new elections that are currently slated for October 17, 2017, restricted market and humanitarian assistance operations persist as the majority of actors, particularly at the donor level, have chosen to exercise caution. This has particularly affected food availability in remote, rural areas as market operations have slowed down and humanitarian assistance deliveries have been curtailed. 

    • Substantial offseason rains experienced from July through mid-September in Turkana and parts of northwestern Marsabit, West Pokot, and Baringo counties have significantly improved water and forage availability that have driven improvements in livestock body conditions but milk production remains negligible, except for camels. In other pastoral areas, food security continues to deteriorate with lower livestock productivity, restricting household income and milk availability. High malnutrition outcomes persist, and the three-month nationwide nurses’ strike is exacerbating limited health access. Overall, the majority of poor households in pastoral areas are facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes. 

    • In the marginal agricultural areas, widespread crop failure, particularly in the southeast, resulted in minimal crop harvests that will soon be depleted. Despite some available local harvests, staple food prices remain significantly above average, driven by low household stocks and high priced cross-border imports, which continue to constrain household food access. Most poor households remain in Stressed (IPC Phase 2), with some worse off households in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in Kilifi, Kwale, and Taita Taveta.  

    • Nationally, the maize subsidy program is expected to cease at the end of September, coinciding with the beginning of the long rains harvest season from Kenya’s high producing areas in the western and Rift Valley regions. This harvest, however, is projected to be 20 – 30 percent below average, which will result in a significant supply shortfall and likely keep staple food prices persistently above five-year averages across the country, further constraining household food access. 

    This Key Message Update provides a high-level analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography. Learn more here.

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