2011 GHI - Fact Sheet: Kenya Case Study

  • Kenya, which ranks 50 on the 2011 Global Hunger Index, is classified has having a “serious” hunger problem.

  • In comparison, Ghana ranks 20, Uganda ranks 42, Tanzania is 58, Ethiopia is 77, Eritrea ranks 79, and Burundi is 80. With a ranking of 81, the Democratic Republic of Congo has the highest level of hunger in the world.

  • Kenya is not on track to reach the Millennium Development Goal related to undernutrition, and between January and May 2011, admissions to hospitals and community centers in Nairobi for treatment of severe acute malnutrition in young children increased by 62 percent.

  • Poor families often spend between 40-60 percent of their household income on food, and even minor fluctuations in food prices can have major impacts on household consumption and wellbeing.

  • Between February 2010 and May 2011 in Kenya, month-to-month price changes at the national wholesale level ranged from zero to 20 percent for maize, and from zero to 42 percent for beans.

  • Local prices can fluctuate substantially even when national prices are stable. Between November 2010 and January 2011, prices changes in Nairobi slum markets oscillated from 10 to 50 percent.

  • Cash transfers, skills development, social protection, and nutrition programs, among others, are needed to break the cycle of poverty, food insecurity, and vulnerability.

  • Between November 2009 and October 2010, Concern Worldwide executed a cash transfer program that significantly improved the food security of extremely poor people living in Nairobi’s Korogocho slum improved significantly:

    • The average number of meals per day increased from 1.6 to 2.5.
    • The proportion of households considered severely food insecure fell from 97.4 percent to 73.7 percent.
    • The practice of trading sex for food or money declined from 21.9 percent to 9 percent.
    • Engagement in child labor dropped from 38.5 to 12.2 percent.
Published date: 
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
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