Kenya

Philip Kogo helps Savings and Internal Lending Community members with their financial ledgers during a meeting in Eldoret, Kenya. Photo by Sara A. Fajardo/CRS

Philip Kogo helps Savings and Internal Lending Community members with their financial ledgers during a meeting in Eldoret, Kenya. Photo by Sara A. Fajardo/CRS

A rising economic force in Africa, Kenya is also a growing business hub for East Africa. While 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 estimated 42 ethnic groups, creating tight social bonds that at times lead to conflict. The population of Kenya is more than 40 million, with more than half of them living below the poverty line.

Most Kenyans are family farmers and many are unable to get enough safe and 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.

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Stats

Population:44,037,656 (July 2013 est.)
Size:224,081 sq mi; slightly more than twice the size of Nevada
People Served:3,004,225 (2013 est.)

History

Poverty continues to grow in Kenya even as the economy expands, leaving many Kenyans to confront food shortages, low income, soaring unemployment, conflicts and the consequences of an HIV-AIDS pandemic. To help address these problems, Catholic Relief Services has been working in Kenya since 1965. Initially, activities predominantly focused on emergency relief, helping communities to survive droughts and food shortages, and maternal and child health programs. Over the years, CRS' focus in Kenya has shifted from direct relief and food distribution to a comprehensive development program that works through about 50 local partners. CRS Kenya programs now support children orphaned by AIDS and people with HIV, community-based efforts to increase household incomes, improve family and community livelihoods, health and sanitation, promote peace and prevent early marriages of girls. In 2011, CRS launched a massive response to support Somalian refugees in the Dadaab camp in eastern Kenya.

Partners

Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops-Catholic Secretariat (KCCB-CS)
Coast Interfaith Council of Clerics (CICC)
Caritas Malindi

Programs

Agriculture
Disaster Response
HIV and AIDS
Microfinance
Peacebuilding
Water and Sanitation


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