Fighting famine in East and Central Africa


Millions of children, women and men face starvation and disease. Without urgent action, the crisis will continue to spiral out of control. Red Cross and Red Crescent staff and volunteers – who live in the communities under threat – are working to break this preventable cycle of drought, food shortage, disease and death.

National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, supported by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) are racing to help stop the crisis.

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Our three key priorities are to:

  • Reach remote and underserviced areas.
  • Respond through our volunteer network to help communities prevent and treat malnutrition and disease.
  • Build community resilience through programmes that restore dignity and strengthen food security and reduce need in the future.


Drought has swept across Kenya’s coastal and semi-arid regions in the north and north-east following two consecutive failed seasonal rains in 2016, doubling the number of food-insecure people to 2.7 million, especially in pastoral areas. Farmers have been unable to plant crops, and the value of livestock has dropped.

Malnutrition rates in some areas have reached crisis levels, especially among children under five and expectant mothers, putting them at further risk of disease.

An IFRC emergency appeal was revised in March 2017 to assist more than one million people with health, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, food security, and livelihood interventions.

Download snapshot PDF

Mobile cash transfers in Kenya

Technology can offer new solutions in times of crisis. See how Kenya Red Cross Society's mobile cash programme is helping communities cope with #drought.

Geplaatst door International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies op Dinsdag 11 juli 2017

IFRC appeal

IFRC is supporting the Kenya Red Cross Society to work within affected communities and deliver life-saving support to populations that are not reached by other agencies and partners. Leveraging the permanent community presence of its more than 98,000 active volunteers, the Red Cross is providing community-based health care, water, sanitation and hygiene, nutrition and food security support, mainly through cash transfers.

25,062,572 Swiss Francs

 for urgent humanitarian support

for 1,033,300 people over the next 12 months.

Our impact

Since the launch of the emergency appeal in November 2016, the Kenya Red Cross Society and IFRC have provided the following:

  • 42,000 families have received emergency cash transfers.
  • 70,000 people reached with basic nutrition services.
  • 282,300 people have received access to safe water sources.
  • 79,000 people reached with hygiene promotion activities.
  • Community engagement and accountability mechanisms are in place to ensure effective programming.

Download Kenya Response highlights PDF

Date: 01/02/2018

Urgent actions

Food security and nutrition

Cash transfers, livestock restocking, and meat distribution.


Community-level disease surveillance, integrated health and nutrition outreach, reproductive health, psychosocial support and safe spaces for children and families, essential supplies of epidemic preparedness materials.

Water, sanitation and hygiene

Water treatment chemicals, storage containers and tanks, rehabilitation of water supplies, drilling of new boreholes, water trucking and desilting of water sources.

National capacity

Training for community-based psychosocial support, water management, hygiene promotion.

Community engagement

Health, gender based violence, nutrition, hygiene, sanitation and awareness raising and promotion activities in schools and households.


98,000 active volunteers.