CRS in Kenya
A drought in Eastern Africa has left millions in South Sudan, Kenya, and Somalia facing chronic hunger. Hundreds of thousands of children are acutely malnourished and need urgent nutritional support.
Catholic Relief Services is responding with emergency food aid, water and vocational training for the most vulnerable people, including those who have been displaced from their homes.
A rising economic force in Africa, Kenya is also a growing business hub. Yet, as the country makes political and economic advances, it continues to struggle with large income disparities, considerable poverty, and the effects of climate change. Socially, many Kenyans affiliate themselves closely with one of the country's 43 ethnic groups. Those ties create strong social bonds that at times lead to conflict.
More than half of Kenya's people live in poverty. This is especially severe in the Northern Arid Lands where 74–97% of people live below the poverty line. Most Kenyans are family farmers and many are unable to produce 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. Severe drought again gripped the nation in 2017, followed by devastating floods, displacing 332,000 people and killing 183 more in the first half of 2018.
To help Kenyans overcome these challenges, CRS Kenya empowers local partners across sectors to build community resilience and prosperity through practical, evidence-based programs.
Country News and Stories
March 7, 2019
On the Eve of Expected Cuts to U.S. Foreign Assistance Budget, Millions at Risk of Starvation in East Africa
Worsening drought and hunger in the Horn of Africa imperils millions as foreign aid is threatened.
February 11, 2019
Famers Helping Farmers
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December 27, 2018
CRS' Best Photos of 2018
These are the CRS best photos of 2018 that have had the most lasting and transcendent impact, capturing the glory of human dignity even as we move among the poorest and most vulnerable.
July 25, 2018
Water Access Improves Lives, Farms, Incomes
CRS’ Kenya-RAPID project brings sustainable water systems to rural families.
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 respond to emergencies, support children orphaned by HIV, build community-based efforts to increase household incomes, improve family health and sanitation, and enhance agriculture.