Majority Of Kenyan Households Unable To Afford Food – World Bank

Kenyans walking in Nairobi streets PHOTO/COURTESY

According to a World Bank report released in June 2022, more than half of Kenyans cannot afford to put food on the table.

The Kenya Economic Update attributed the same to the slow economic recovery as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hunger state was also attributed to the Russia-Ukraine war which has resulted in the high cost of living.

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According to the report, the number of households that are unable to afford staple food has increased by 36% as from November 2021.

As such, the country’s proportion shot by 50% as food prices increased by 3.4%; from 9% in March to 12.4% in May 2022.

Under the same period, prices of food items such as maize flour increased from KSh 120 to KSh 150 per 2kg packet.

Prices of other foodstuffs such as wheat flour, milk, cooking oil, rice and potatoes have also been on the rise.

World Bank Country Director Keith Hansen warned that below-average rains will hamper agricultural performance leading to increased food prices.

“While Kenya’s economy has been resilient, the multiple recent shocks show the urgency of improving social protection mechanisms to cushion the most vulnerable households

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“This will enable Kenya to move away from other more costly and less well-targeted support measures such as fuel subsidies,” Hansen said.

The report showed that economic growth is expected to slow in 2022 due to the ongoing drought and the Ukraine crisis.

It is estimated Kenya’s economy to grow by 5.5% in 2022 and 5.2% on average from 2023 to 2024.

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