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Despite recent economic success, Kenya remains among the poorest nations of the world – ranked at 143 of 189 in the UN Human Development Index.

The highly agriculturally dependent nation has been increasingly affected for decades by various recurring disasters, such as droughts, floods and plagues of locusts – a problem that is being exacerbated by climate change.

A high number of refugees and almost one million internally displaced people, as well as numerous conflicts between some of Kenya’s diverse number of ethnic groups have contributed to further instability. The provision of water, sanitation and hygiene for the more than 43 per cent of the population living under the poverty line is insufficient.

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With your donation we support the people in Kenya

Malteser International has been working in health field in Kenya since 2001, which is a particular focus of our aid. Our aid projects aim to improve the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS among disadvantaged groups in the slums of Nairobi, as well as to establish and expand the emergency medical services nationwide.

Since the terrible drought of 2011, we have also been engaged in the arid north of the country in order to better prepare the semi-nomadic population living there for future periods of drought. In this way, we are also supporting the drought-affected population in the acute crisis at the beginning of 2022.

Stories and news from Kenya:

Pandemic in Kenya: Many people found themselves left with nothing

When the first people died in Kenya in March 2020 due to COVID-19, lockdowns were imposed in Nairobi and many people lost their jobs. Especially day labourers living in the slums of the capital lost their livelihood from one day to the next and were no longer able to feed their families. "The pandemic hit those people especially hard who already had little before. They had no savings to fall back on. In many households, only a meagre meal was put on the table every day. The people in Mathare were poor before the pandemic, but with the pandemic they literally started to starve," says Martin Schömburg, Malteser International's Country Coordinator in Nairobi.

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If it doesn't rain soon, people will die

Since the drought began two years ago, around 1.5 million animals have already died. More and more people need help to survive. Roba Bora and Ntitoya Mirgichan tell us about relatives who have already starved to death and how they are currently struggling to survive.

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Malteser International: "The need for humanitarian aid has never been greater".

Cologne. The consequences of the war in Ukraine are immense worldwide. And they are hitting people particularly hard who were already struggling with multiple crises before the Ukraine war, such as in Kenya or Lebanon. Until now, the main suppliers of wheat, corn, oil and fertiliser have been Russia and Ukraine. Due to the shortage, prices for staple food are rising and exacerbating existing crises. "The need for humanitarian aid has never been greater," says Clemens Graf von Mirbach-Harff, Secretary General of Malteser International.

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Drought in Kenya: Situation of the people deteriorates rapidly

Cologne/Nairobi. Three consecutive rainy seasons have failed to arrive in eastern Kenya. According to the United Nations, around 2.9 million people in eastern Kenya are in urgent need of aid, and more than half a million children are acutely malnourished. As a result, tens of thousands of farm animals have starved to death, pastures have withered and wells have dried up. Malteser International is providing emergency aid in the form of drinking water and cash.

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Launch of Emergency Operation Center in Nairobi

In October, Malteser International, together with its national partner Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS), opened a new Emergency Operation Center (EOC) for the public ambulance service. In the future, the center will be used for the organization of ambulance missions and the distribution of patients to hospitals.

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"The mask and soap production project came at just the right time"

Irene's story

Irene Auma is 24 years old and lives with her two small children in Nairobi, Kenya, in the Kariobangi district. "The COVID-19 crisis brought so many challenges. My husband is a casual worker and was out of work for a month. I stepped in and took on housework so we could even have enough to eat. We couldn't pay the rent and the landlord foreclosed on us. Malteser International and IECE came at the right time with the mask and soap production project. The soap and masks also helped the community a lot to protect themselves during the pandemic," says Irene Auma.

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Malteser International prepares response to locust infestation in Kenya

Vulnerable communities are facing severe food crisis as locust devastate crops

The impact of the infestation on food security and livelihoods of the rural population is of great concern. Malteser International is preparing to respond to the crisis in Marsabit county of northern Kenya, where vulnerable communities are already facing severe food insecurity following months of droughts and floods. These extreme weather conditions have created favorable breeding conditions for the desert locusts.

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Kenya’s locust emergency: A crisis within a crisis

Millions of these locusts have been destroying vegetation and threatening millions of lives across East Africa and Kenya for the past few months. Sallo Guyo Wario has never experienced such a plague. The people in the northeast of Kenya live from cattle farming, but there is hardly anything left for the cows and goats to eat. We are providing emergency assistance to respond to the acute needs of affected communities. 

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#WomenHumanitarians: ''Working as a humanitarian just feels natural''

Caroline Nyongesa is Malteser International’s Regional Health Advisor in Kenya. She is currently leading a Malteser International project to reduce maternal and child mortality within the Burundian refugee community in Tanzania. In this interview, Ms. Nyongesa talks about the challenges women face as humanitarian aid workers and heartwarming moments in her career.

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One year after the hunger crisis in Kenya

In 2017, a devastating hunger crisis was ravaging parts of Africa including northern Kenya. The Kenyan government declared a national drought emergency. Malteser International responded to the crisis by providing life-safing food aid in regions affected by the drought. One year on, many families have survived thanks to a quick response but many people are still living in the grip of starvation. 

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Staff report: Cash-Transfer in Kenya

The ongoing drought in Marsabit County, located in northern Kenya has caused much hardship for thousands of families whose livelihoods depend on cattle herding. Our employee Michael Fuchs gives us a brief situation report, and explains our latest aid intervention in the region

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"It feels like the end of the world"

Rainfall has been very poor in northern Kenya, and conditions have worsened in the last months. Currently, over 2 million people are facing the devastating effects of the drought.

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As a sponsoring partner, your regular donation gives real, life-changing help to people in need in our project regions. Your commitment helps us plan ahead and bring about long-lasting impact.

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Completed projects:


Our work in Kenya

Malteser International office: Nairobi

Project locations: Nairobi, Marsabit

Our partners: Amref Health Africa, Integrated Education for Community Empowerment (IECE), Kakuma Mission Hospital, PACIDA

Daniel Bergfeld
Email: daniel.bergfeld(at)malteser-international.org

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