- During the peak of Covid-19, about 20% of families were reported to have taken no steps in response to the crisis.
- This share fell to only 5.6 per cent for the half year period to June this year.
Close to 94 per cent of families in Kenya had to find ways to make ends meet for the six months period to June this year.
Compared to the Covid-19 period, when families were hit by a series of shocks ranging from job lay-offs, pay cuts, business closures and lockdowns, this marks a 14 per cent increase in number of families that had to find alternatives to survive.
This has been occasioned by the tough economic times on the back of rising costs of living and climate shocks.
These have disrupted the country's food production leading to costly imports.
According to World Bank’s Rapid Response Phone Survey (RRPS), during the peak of Covid-19, between May and September 2020, about 20 per cent of families were reported to have taken no steps in response to the crisis.
This share fell to only 5.6 per cent for the half-year period to June this year.
However, in one respect, the response of families during the recent price and weather crises was similar to that during the pandemic.
Close to 50 per cent were reported to cut back on food consumption with 35 per cent cutting back on non-food consumption.
Most of the families surveyed received no assistance from the government or from non-governmental organisations in 2020 or during the recent price and weather shocks.
“Taken together, these findings raise concerns about the weakening capability of families to adjust their living standards or to self-insure as they deal with accumulating crises,” the report says.
With about 55 per cent of households reported to have lost employment income amid the current crisis, the survey notes that about 60 per cent of households as of June this year relied on assistance from families and friends to make ends meet.
About 35 per cent of the households purchased goods on credit while 10 per cent survived on delayed payments.
“Those who took up loans to cushion themselves against the prevailing shocks stood at 15 per cent,” the lender says in part.
The survey further indicates that the share of families who had family members going hungry from lack of food jumped from a third in November 2021 to more than a half in June 2022.
This reverts to the levels seen at the height of the pandemic.
Despite the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) documenting the rising food insecurity in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) counties of Kenya, the report shows families in non-arid parts of the country also experienced a rise in food insecurity.
This was mainly attributed to the rising inflation, which has seen prices of basic commodities rise to unprecedented levels.
The country's inflation rate as of November stood at 9.5 per cent according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).
The statistic body pointed out that the year-on-year rise in inflation was largely due to an increase in the prices of commodities that have seen households grapple to meet basic needs within their fiscal space.