Addressing malnutrition and food insecurity due to COVID-19 in Kenya and Uganda

At a glance

The COVID-19 pandemic could drive an additional 130 million people into hunger by the end of 20201 . Action Against Hunger is mounting a robust response in East Africa to combat the spread of COVID-19 and address rising food insecurity, malnutrition, and the erosion of productive livelihoods in the region. Action Against Hunger builds on decades of work with families to improve health and nutrition, and with communities to build resilience.

The partners

As the world’s hunger specialist, Action Against Hunger’s primary goal is to create a better way to deal with hunger. For more than 40 years, Action Against Hunger has led the global movement that aims to end life-threatening hunger for good. The organization's teams are on the front lines, treating and preventing malnutrition across nearly 50 countries. Action Against Hunger's holistic programs in nutrition, health, water, sanitation, hygiene, food security, and livelihoods reach more than 21 million people annually.

The problem

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a devastating impact on already-fragile economies and livelihoods in Eastern Africa.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, 33.1 million people in the Eastern and Central Africa region were severely food insecure and required food assistance.2  Restrictions on movement within and across countries is disrupting regional and national food supply chains and affecting the availability of food. As food insecurity increases, so too, will cases of life-threatening childhood malnutrition. Currently, just one in four seriously malnourished children has access to care, making hunger a factor in nearly half of the deaths of children under five. Without sufficient aid, malnutrition is set to accelerate such that 15 years of progress on eradicating hunger will be lost.3

The solution

Action Against Hunger's COVID-19 response is focused on three primary objectives:

  • Enhancing continuity of health and nutrition services, including increased supply of therapeutic commodities, and capacity of community health workers and communities to detect and manage wasting.
  • Providing safe water and sanitation services to prevent and suppress disease transmission, including, but not limited to COVID-19.
  • Ensuring food availability and access for populations affected by mobility restrictions and food price increases via household registries, cash transfers and incentive schemes for farm labor.

Action Against Hunger reaches populations with limited access to basic services, including conflict-affected and internally displaced people (IDPs), refugees, women, children, and people living with disabilities.

The evidence

Action Against Hunger has been in Kenya and Uganda for over 30 years. The organization is coordinating their COVID-19 response with national Ministries of Health, and local health officials and workers through existing relationships, and operate in close coordination with other non-profit organizations (international and local).

The Impact

This philanthropic investment will support Action Against Hunger to:

  • Improve access to food for 8,450 people 
  • Improve access to water for 20,000 people
  • Train 600 health workers

Action Against Hunger works towards SDGs: