NAIROBI, Kenya- Despite receiving more than normal rainfall in the Mar to May season, which boosted food production, some parts of Kenya are still facing food crisis. Up to 700,000 Kenyans are currently facing acute food insecurity and in need of humanitarian assistance, a new report showed.

A majority of those affected are living in the pastoral north-west and pastoral north-east parts of the country, the report, dubbed 2018 Long Rains Season Assessment, by the Kenya Food Security Steering Group, said. The number of affected persons is, however, significantly less than the 2.55 million, identified by the Short Rains Assessment of Feb.

“These 700,000 people are classified in crisis phase and therefore, if no assistance is provided, they are likely to engage in irreversible coping strategies, further eroding their livelihood assets,” said the report. Of the total population in the arid and semi-arid lands, approximately 9.5 million are in the minimal/none phase of food insecurity and 3.7 million people in the stressed phase.

“Although the pastoral north-east and north-west are generally classified as stressed, there are about 700,000 people here in the crisis phase of food insecurity. After two to three poor seasons, these households have not fully recovered,” said the report. Most of the affected people lost productive assets, during last year’s drought and face considerable food gaps.

“They will need food and non-food transfers, to continue supporting their recovery, as the situation stabilises,” noted the report.