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More than four million people are facing high levels of food insecurity in Kenya, according to new data released by the UN.
This figure has risen from just over three million people last year.
Over 900,000 children below the age of five have been found to be acutely malnourished.
The entire country’s north, and much of the north-eastern regions, are facing food insecurity at crisis or emergency levels, the data classification shows.
The March to May rainfall has been low, irregular and poorly distributed in much of the distressed regions, which has affected production of food.
Aside from a prolonged drought, the crisis has been worsened by a rise in food prices because of the spike in the cost of fuel, resulting from the war in Ukraine.
Some of the affected counties also face ongoing insecurity and gun violence.
Large parts of eastern Africa have suffered a devastating drought for much of 2022, aggravating food insecurity for countries still reeling from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier this week, the UN also warned that more than half a million people in Uganda’s north-eastern region of Karamoja were facing a high risk of hunger and starvation.
And in Somalia, more than 200,000 people are on the verge of starvation due to the drought that has swept through the region