Protection Assessment Report

Kenya Emergency Drought Response 2017

Photo credit: Katie G. Nelson
Paper author: 
Andrea Verdeja
Paper publication date: 
Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Kenya’s current drought emergency has left 2.7 million people in need of immediate humanitarian assistance. A wide range of protection risks have emerged as a direct consequence of the drought, though they have received little attention and remain largely unseen.


Following two consecutive rain seasons with significantly reduced levels of rainfall in 2016 (March-May and October-December), Kenya has been faced with a severe drought in its northern and coastal regions. Widespread crop failures and livestock loss, diminished or dried water sources, as well as record high inflation of basic staple foods, have affected 27 out of 47 counties, leaving a significant part of the population in critical conditions. As a result, the Kenyan government declared a state of emergency in February 2017. Since then, a third consecutive rainy season with below average rainfall (March-May 2017) has severely aggravated the situation, increasing the levels of stress on a population whose coping mechanisms have already been depleted, and who are hence unable to withstand an additional shock.