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Special Programmes

Relief and Rehabilitation

Over view

The section provides relief assistance to emergency/disaster and drought affected persons in the Country. Relief assistance is primarily in form of food and non-food items. Drought affected persons are mainly from 29 ASALs Counties and are provided with relief food assistance monthly. The target number of the affected people in the Counties is informed by Short rains assessment and long rains assessment which are done annually. The most recent assessment report released in August 2018 indicate that approximately ksh. 1.066 million people require food assistance in the ASALs.

The guidelines for management of relief food distribution facilitates information sharing and distribution of relief assistance which is done in collaboration with the National Government Officers in Counties and Sub Counties who receive and distribute relief assistance.


The functions of the section are:

  • Mitigation of the effects of drought through provision of relief food assistance to affected groups;
  • Provision of food and non-food items to persons in emergency situations and those affected by disasters.
  • Co-ordinating various stakeholders who respond to drought and emergencies through a steering group – Kenya Food Security Steering Group;
  • Strengthening of relief and humanitarian response in order to improve resilience of vulnerable groups and communities;
  • Strengthen linkages and coordination with local, regional and international institutions dealing with humanitarian response and rehabilitation;
  • Formulation of Legal Frameworks, policies and guidelines for relief and humanitarian activities;
  • Monitoring relief food activities in the field;
  • Cash Transfers to persons affected by drought in lieu of relief food.

Funds Allocation

The Treasury allocates funds used for procuring relief supplies (food and non-food items) as well as cash transfers to beneficiaries of relief assistance at an estimated budget of Ksh. 7.4 billion annually.

The department also receives relief donations from various Countries, Embassies, and Private institutions during emergencies/disasters and drought. The most recent donation being rice from China.

Financial assistance inform of logistical support has also been received from USAID through World Food Programme during the implementation of drought relief cash transfer (Chakula kwa Jamii).


The department works closely with different sectors in humanitarian response. These includes Government Ministries, Non-Governmental Organizations, the private sector, Embassies and UN agencies-the World Food Programme. The various partnerships provide a platform for information sharing, Technical and financial assistance.

Relief Cash Transfer Programme – Chakula kwa Jamii
The Government used cash transfer strategy in humanitarian response for the first time in 2017, when drought was declared a National Disaster. The aim was to allow the food insecure people to make their own choices as they buy their own food, thereby allowing them dignity as you provide relief assistance.

The programme covered 13 Counties in ASALs, benefitting about 244,401 households worth approximately Kshs.2 billion. Whereby each household/beneficiary received Ksh.3,049 in arid Counties while those in semi-arid received Ksh.2,327 per month for three months in FY 2017/18. Mobile money was used as the quickest mode of transfer to reach the beneficiaries in good time since the situation was emergency in nature. As a result, no lives were lost to drought during this period and the benefits of the cash transfer were far reaching with beneficiaries not only buying their own food but also engaging in activities geared towards building their resilience.

Salient issues

The department is playing a role in observing the national values on equality and human rights through:

  • Provision of relief food to populations affected by drought based on their needs
  • Providing relief food to hunger stricken populations in order to prevent loss of lives