Africa Food & Security News
In 2008, an estimated 1.3 million people in rural areas and 3.5 – 4 million in urban areas were food insecure. An estimated 150,000 persons residing predominantly in high-potential areas of the Rift Valley province were extremely food insecure following the post-election crisis (FEWS NET 2009). Approximately 100,000 more children have become malnourished as a result of the food crisis (Save the Children 2009). Failed short rains in 2008 and previous three to four agricultural seasons has contributed to exacerbating food insecurity in the country. Marginal agricultural households, agro-pastoralists, pastoralists, and urban poor have been particularly affected. The marginal agricultural households in the southeastern and coastal lowlands are worst-hit as 70 percent of their annual harvest is derived from short-rains seasons (FEWS NET 2009). High food prices have also made 75 percent of the pastoralist communities food poor due to dramatic increase in cereal prices ranging from 50 – 80 percent as compared to other commodity prices. Amongst urban households, 40 percent were highly food insecure. As a result of the crisis, there has been an increase in school dropout rate, food riot incidents, and crime rate (WFP 2008).