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CRS in Kenya

A rising economic force in Africa, Kenya is also a growing business hub for East Africa. Yet as the country makes political and economic advances, it continues to struggle with large income disparities and considerable poverty. Many Kenyans affiliate themselves closely with one of the country's 42 ethnic groups. Those ties create strong social bonds that at times lead to conflict.

More than half of Kenya's people live below the poverty line. Most Kenyans are family farmers and many are unable to get enough safe, nutritious food to maintain healthy lives. Along with degraded land, poor roads and limited access to clean water, they are threatened by erratic weather that causes harsh and recurring droughts punctuated by flooding during rainy seasons. For example, the severe drought in 2011 left more than 10 million people in East Africa close to starvation.


People served: 1,536,638 (FY 2014: 397,866 direct; 1,138,772 indirect)

Population: 45,010,056 (2014 est.)

Size: 224,081 sq mi; slightly more than twice the size of Nevada

CRS' History in Kenya

CRS has been working in Kenya since 1965. Initial operations focused on emergency relief following droughts and food shortages. We also established maternal and child health programs to help reduce high infant mortality rates. Over the years, the agency's focus has shifted to a comprehensive development program that works through partners and strengthens local capacity. CRS programs support children orphaned by HIV, build community-based efforts to increase household incomes, improve family health and sanitation, and enhance agriculture.