Eradicate extreme hunger and poverty

Where we are

Reducing extreme poverty in Kenya Mama Elizabeth Otieno is happy to have received a goat from UNDP. The goat has assisted her pay school fees for her child in addition to improving food security in the house.


Target 1.A: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than one dollar a day

1.1 Proportion of population below $1 (PPP) per day
1.2 Poverty gap ratio
1.3 Share of poorest quintile in national consumption

Target 1.B: Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people

1.4 Growth rate of GDP per person employed
1.5 Employment-to-population ratio
1.6 Proportion of employed people living below $1 (PPP) per day
1.7 Proportion of own-account and contributing family workers in total employment

Target 1.C: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger

1.8 Prevalence of underweight children under-five years of age
1.9 Proportion of population below minimum level of dietary energy consumption

Line Chart

Progress on MDG 1: Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger

Butere Health ClinicButere Health Clinic

The Ministry of Agriculture formulated the Strategy for Revitalizing Agriculture (2004-2014) and developed a Strategic Plan (2008-2012) both of which put forward fairly elaborate interventions that could contribute very substantially to improved agricultural productivity at the household level thereby touching positively the food security of the poor. National initiatives such as Njaa Marufuku Kenya, Kilimo Biashara and others under the Economic Stimulus Package are aimed at achieving higher levels of food sufficiency among participating households. If these initiatives are sustained, it is possible that the rate of growth in agriculture will peak at 10% in the medium term as projected, and bring the anticipated outcomes as envisaged in the MDGs.

With regard to incidence and depth of poverty, the current national poverty levels remain high. However, the national incidence of food poverty declined marginally from 48.7% in 1997 to 45.6% in 2005/06.2 Whereas the urban and rural communities in Kenya demonstrate different socioeconomic characteristics, data available indicate that the rural poverty incidence declined from 50.7% to 42.2% between 1997 and 2006/2007, while the urban incidence increased from 38.3% to 40.5% over the same period. Overall, rural food poverty was 47.2%. Poverty incidence is expected to have increased during the period 2008-09 due to post-election violence, global economic crises as well as global increase in fuel prices.

The indicators for the second target of MDG 1 include the reduction by half between 1990 and 2015 of the prevalence of underweight (low-weight for age) children and the proportion of the population whose food intake falls below the minimum level of dietary requirement (under-nutrition). Progress towards attainment of this indicator in the last ten years reveals a slight national improvement of the status of children under-five years. For instance the proportion of stunted children aged 6-59 months declined from 36.9% in 1997 to 34.7% by 2006, while a similar decrease from 22.3% to 20.9% of underweight children was noted within the same period.

To sustain this progress there is need for Kenya to fast track interventions geared towards enhancing food availability through increased agricultural productivity so as to boost household access to food in sufficient quantity and quality as well as surplus for sale. Quality in this case implies access to nutritious food; meaning that for those households who rely on food production from their farms, emphasis should be put on the linkage between the food produced and nutritional status of that food. Similarly, for those who rely on purchases from the markets, boosting agricultural production definitely means greater supply and through the forces of demand and supply, lower prices translating to higher volumes of various foodstuffs at household level.

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