Several challenges have threatened food and nutrition security in Kenya. Food production is affected by changing rainfall patterns, the invasion of quelea birds, pest and diseases, among others. Kenya is among six East African countries worst affected by desert locust. At the same time, Kenya is currently dealing with a new threat of floods that has already claimed the lives of 194 people, displaced 100,000, strained critical infrastructure, caused massive environmental degradation and destroyed crops and livestock. The heavy rain is expected to continue in already hard-hit areas. Economic shock resulting from COVID-19 has further exacerbated the magnitude and severity of food insecurity and under nutrition. The target to achieve 100% food and nutrition security by 2022 under the Big Four Agenda is seriously challenged.
As COVID-19 cases reported in Kenya continue to increase, the Government has introduced measures to restrict movements, which have led to closure of markets and businesses, disruptions of supply chains as well as shortages of inputs and labor. This policy brief assesses the impact of COVID-19 on availability, access and affordability of nutritious and safe food, and reviews mitigation measures.