Kenya Crisis Response Plan 2024

Last updated: November 27 2023
Funding required
People Targeted

IOM Vision

IOM Kenya will become a catalyst in bringing transformative changes in migration dynamics in Kenya, seeking to respond to the immediate humanitarian and protection needs of affected populations while contributing to durable solutions and building resilience in line with the humanitarian development and peace nexus. IOM’s interventions will collectively reduce the vulnerabilities of crisis-affected populations and host communities by supporting evidence-based interventions increasing access to basic services such as clean water, shelter, health, and restoration of livelihoods in the immediate and longer terms.  

Key Operating Modalities
Participation and empowerment Conflict sensitivity Integrated Programming Collaboration and partnership Localization Cash-based interventions
Cross-cutting priorities
Data and evidence Protection Mainstreaming Gender Equality Prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse Disaster Risk Climate Change Law and policy

Objective 1 - Saving lives and protecting people on the move
Saving lives and protecting people on the move

Funding required
People Targeted
Entities Targeted
Internal migrant, Internally displaced person, International migrant, Local population / community, Refugee
Primary target groups
Description of People and Entities Targeted

Beneficiaries under this objective will include displaced persons, departing migrants, transiting migrants, stranded migrants, returnees, and host communities in need of life-saving and tailored protection assistance.

In Kenya, 23 ASAL counties are categorized as vulnerable and IOM will provide lifesaving assistance through the provision of emergency and transitional shelters, non-food items,  and WASH interventions, either in-kind or through cash based interventions as a modality, to address the vulnerability of displaced populations, as well as provide them protection from water related diseases, environmental hazards and other protection risks and issues endangering their lives, especially among women, children, girls and boys. IOM will carry out GBV mitigation measures in line with global commitments including GBV training on protection, PSEA, AAP, code of conduct, data collection and disaggregation.

Departing and transiting migrants face life-threating situations, including extreme heat and rugged terrains. Lack of access to essential services poses significant threats to their safety. Furthermore, their irregular status exposes them to grave risks of violence, exploitation, and abuse. Critical protection concerns include gender based violence (GBV), kidnapping, human trafficking and smuggling, movement restrictions, detention, discrimination, and xenophobia. Migrant women and children are among the most vulnerable to these protection risks and vulnerabilities. 

Lifesaving and protection responses for displaced populations, host communities, and returnees are required. Government officials will also benefit from training and technical assistance on humanitarian assistance and protection as well as awareness-raising and sensitization on migration, trafficking and protection.

In addition, key stakeholders targeted within this objective include regional and sub-regional governing bodies including Ministries and Government departments with humanitarian-related portfolios such as the Ministry of Interior and National Coordination, the National Drought Management Authority, the National Disaster Operation Centre, the National Disaster Management Unit and Kenya Red Cross (designated by the Government of Kenya (GoK) to lead humanitarian response during humanitarian crisis), and other entities involved in migration management, such as border management officials and healthcare entities in the six countries that take part in the route-based response. 

United Nations agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and other humanitarian and development partners participating in the inter-agency Regional Migrant Response Plan for the Horn of Africa will also benefit from IOM’s coordination effort for its implementation. Data collection, assessment, and research will facilitate to generation of information with a better understanding of the mobility dynamics along the Eastern and Southern route, including the displacement profile, reasons of forced movement, vulnerabilities, and multi-sectoral needs of those populations on the move. This will facilitate informed decision-making for planning, humanitarian response, and recovery for the most affected displaced population, ultimately benefiting departing migrants, migrants in transit, returnees, and host communities alike.

IOM will also work closely with communities at high risk of disasters, national and county authorities to support emergency preparedness to effectively respond to and recover from crises and recurrent shocks. To do so, IOM will target:

  • National, county and sub-county disaster response authorities.
  • Displaced and host communities.
  • The Ministry of Health, the Kenya National Disaster Management Unit (NDMU) under the Ministry of Interior. 

Basic needs, including food and multi-purpose cash assistance

To provide humanitarian assistance to displaced persons in protracted situations and host communities, IOM will: 

  • Provide basic social services.

Additionally, to support migrants transiting along the Southern Route, IOM will: 

  • Provide assistance to respond to basic needs including clothes, sanitary dignity kits for women and girls, food, child friendly nutrition supplements as necessary.
  • Provide temporary shelters  and access to basic medical care. 

For returning distressed migrants from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, IOM Kenya will: 

  • Provide reception assistance.
  • Provide basic medical care and temporary shelter where necessary. 
Funding required
Plan types

Direct health support

In direct health support, IOM Kenya will strengthen health systems through: 

  • Support to migrants in distress to access primary health care services
  • Training for the migrant community health providers
  • Support to health facilities for basic primary health care including facilitating surge capacities for human resources support, provision of supplies and commodities, and risk communication and community engagement during disease outbreaks such as the recent cholera and polio outbreaks as well as measles.
Funding required
Plan types

Mental health and psychosocial support in humanitarian response

Migrants may experience high levels of distress and mental health issues resulting from displacement and the hardships faced during their journeys, including exposure to violence, loss of loved ones, and uncertainty about their future. Mental health and psychosocial support are critical to address their emotional well-being. To assist these populations, IOM will: 

  • Provide mental health and psychosocial support services to vulnerable migrants, including referral services, through counselling, sensitization and increased awareness of psychoeducation and MHPSS needs and services, utilization of support groups and peer-to-peer programs and conducting psychological first aid (PFA). 
  • Mainstream MHPSS components in response plans and activities to ensure the mental health of migrants and displaced persons is catered for.
  • Build the capacity of community and household leaders, healthcare workers and government officials on MHPSS support needs and operations for migrants and displaced persons. This is done through trainings, workshops, and use of mass media and information, education, and communication (IEC) materials to raise awareness of the importance of MHPSS.
Funding required
Plan types


Children and women are especially vulnerable to exploitation, abuse, and even separation from their families. IOM Kenya will offer general protection and referral services for the vulnerable migrants during the course of displacement and crisis. To do so, IOM will:  

  • Provide referral services 
  • Provide legal support services to be undertaken through partners 
  • Provide shelter services 
  • Provide psychosocial support 
  • Provide health services (includes hospital admission)  
Funding required
Plan types

Provision of water, sanitation and hygiene in emergencies

Kenya is experiencing recurrent drought and floods. To reduce the impact of climate-related hazards that severely affect the most vulnerable population, IOM Kenya will:

  • Provide safe and clean water 
  • Support the sustainable access to safe water through infrastructure support-rehabilitation and construction, repair and upgrade of water supply facilities.
  • Strengthen governance structures for WASH in the communities including capacity building on operations and maintenance for newly installed or rehabilitated infrastructure.
  • Support sanitation and hygiene promotion, including provision of latrines, hygiene kits, community awareness raising by promoting social behavioural change and other health promotion activities, in coordination with the WASH sector and health team, to contain the spread of water-borne diseases.
Funding required
Plan types

Shelter and settlements

Kenya remains one of the most vulnerable countries in the EHoA on climate-related emergencies with 23 counties prone to unprecedented drought and flooding. Yet still during mobility, migrants often travel under harsh conditions, including exposure to extreme weather and elements, overcrowded and unsanitary conditions in detention centres, and/or makeshift shelters. Aiming to ensure an equitable access to safe, dignified and adequate shelter, IOM, in collaboration with the government, partners, and service providers, will:

  • Promote and implement activities related to the protection and/or improvement of the physical standards of living of affected populations in the immediate, medium, and longer term including in their individual dwellings and the settlements in which they live.
  • Support the government to launch the National Shelter Strategy, which has been drafted in 2023.
Funding required
Plan types

Humanitarian border management and services for citizens abroad

IOM will build the capacity of border officials to improve their preparedness and establish adequate response mechanisms to protect nationals and foreigners crossing the border at times of humanitarian crises.

IOM’s support will cover three stages of intervention. 

Pre-crisis, IOM will: 

  • Conduct assessments and analysis on humanitarian border management (HBM) capacity; situational context; and the legal framework for human rights
  • Establish standard operating procedures, early warning systems and inter-agency planning
  • Provide training and capacity-building

In crisis, IOM will: 

  • Conduct registrations and collect data on migration movements
  • Screen, identify and refer vulnerable people
  • Conduct evacuation/search-and-rescue operations 
  • Train and assist via rapid mobile intervention teams and other forms of mobile assistance
  • Procure mobile registration and communications equipment
  • Provide emergency consular services and assistance in readmission and return of third-country nationals.

Post crisis, IOM will: 

  • Conduct assessments on the impact of HBM interventions
  • Restore infrastructure
  • Provide integration or return programmes;
  • Maintain secure but protection-sensitive borders
Funding required
Plan types

Displacement tracking

Through the Displacement Tracking Matrix (various components including but not limited to Mobility Tracking and Multi-Sectoral Location Assessment, Solution and Mobility Index and Transhumance Tracking Tools will be deployed), IOM Kenya will: 

  • Deploy the relevant DTM tools in various climate-struck counties of arid and semi-arid lands to assess the human mobility dynamics, including the multi-sectoral needs of the host and mobile population groups.
  • Analyse, report and disseminate the collected data with state and non-state actors working across the humanitarian-development-peace nexus to support stakeholders with context-specific information on the mobile population groups to strengthen the evidence-based decision-making process.

Evidence generated by DTM will close the data gap on the degree and the extent of human mobility in the face of the climate crisis and conflict and will highlight the needs, risks and vulnerabilities of the mobile population groups with the aim to include them in local and national response plans and longer-term policy developments. 

Funding required
Plan types

Emergency preparedness

IOM Kenya will:

  • Provide emergency preparedness services and trainings to the host communities in the hot spot areas with adaptation skills, tools and knowledge. 
  • Support the government in contingency planning, risk mapping and implementation of the plan 
  • Develop minimum preparedness actions to establish a minimum level of preparedness
  • Advocate for prepositioning of stock for life saving assistance.
  • Support the communities under risk of emergencies in strengthening gender-based violence risk mitigation skills and knowledge.
  • Build capacity of local authorities to respond to emergencies along with comprehension and knowledge on migrants in line with IOM’s guidelines on Migrants in Countries and Crisis (MICIC)
  • Contribute to inter-agency efforts for preparedness and anticipatory actions, to increase a comprehensive humanitarian response to displacements, including humanitarian border management efforts for border authorities  
  • Conduct awareness sessions and capacity building of local authorities 
  • Organize capacity-building and awareness sessions for the host community on returnees and migrants to enhance the knowledge and to mitigate potential risks of violence and others within the community;  
  • Hold awareness-raising sessions for local communities and authorities on age, gender and disabilities to increase knowledge and enhance the inclusion of marginalized groups in emergency preparedness and response initiatives. 
Funding required
Plan types
Over 200 pastoralists trained on how to care for drought-resistant trees and vegetable seedlings in Turkana, providing them with alternative livelihoods. © Muse Mohammed / IOM 2023
Over 200 pastoralists trained on how to care for drought-resistant trees and vegetable seedlings in Turkana, providing them with alternative livelihoods. © Muse Mohammed / IOM 2023

Objective 2 - Driving solutions to displacement
Driving solutions to displacement

Funding required
People Targeted
Entities Targeted
Internal migrant, Internally displaced person, International migrant, Local population / community, Refugee
Primary target groups
Description of People and Entities Targeted

IOM seeks to support progress towards durable solutions, focusing on solutions to displaced persons in protracted situations, departing and returning migrants and host communities to contribute to sustainable development. IOM collaborates with community actors such as women's peace committees and marginalized groups as agents of change, as well as relevant governmental and non-governmental stakeholders to promote inclusive peacebuilding processes strengthen the institutional capacity of local actors and generate evidence/data to inform the interventions to address the challenges of these vulnerable groups. In particular, the response will target at-risk and vulnerable groups, including displaced women and girls, children, persons living with disability, elderly, and women-headed households, as well as other minority groups through inclusive, resilience-based strategies at the individual and community-based levels. 

Prolonged drought and flooding have consistently exacerbated factors driving communities into protracted displacements, especially in the ASAL areas of Kenya. IOM Kenya shall provide recovery and stabilization support through livelihoods and capacity-building assistance to the most affected populations in the 23 ASAL counties of Kenya. IOM will also support communities and government response mechanisms to strengthen resilience towards droughts or floods and reduce disaster risks.

Furthermore, returning migrants often arrive in Kenya in a vulnerable state, face stigmatization, and struggle to reintegrate sustainably. 

Relevant governments and local partners working on the inclusion of migrants in national policies and participating in initiatives to foster socioeconomic outcomes for migrants and communities of origin, transit, and destination will also be targeted.

Community stabilization

IOM supports affected communities (displaced, returned and host communities) in Kenya to address vulnerabilities caused by disasters resulting from natural hazards or resource-based conflicts, ethnic/communal conflicts, and violent extremism. IOM Kenya will collaborate with relevant government ministries to address the vulnerabilities of the target communities in Kenya. IOM will: 

  • Support sustainable, diversified livelihoods, provide reintegration assistance to returnees (recruited by violent extremist groups) vulnerable and at-risk youth of radicalization and recruitment to violent extremism and economic empowerment activities for affected communities to improve their socioeconomic conditions with a particular emphasis on the socioeconomic empowerment of marginalized groups, such as women and youth. Through this activity, marginalized group members will gain access to items to start small scale business and receive training to sustain their businesses. 
  • Promote social cohesion among community and warring ethnic groups for sustainability and peaceful coexistence through the implementation of activities such as dialogue sessions, peace events (sports and theatrical) and the implementation of community led infrastructure repair and refurbishment projects. 
  • Provide community-based employment opportunities for community members affected by conflicts or at-risk of the influences of violent extremism in partnership with small business enterprises (SMEs), including inter- and intra-community peace dialogues, youth and women accountability forums, strengthening local peace networks and other capacity-building on conflict mitigation and management.  
Funding required
Plan types

Livelihoods and economic recovery

Migrants returning to Kenya lack the necessary inputs to successfully sustain themselves and families economically. IOM will seek to assist returning migrants in Kenya on economic recovery as well as the vulnerable communities to address possibility of the youths selecting irregular migration pathways in search of livelihoods and income. In addition, Kenya is prone to prolonged drought and flooding due to the worsening effects of climate change which threatens the communities of forced displacements, especially in the ASAL areas of Kenya. To respond to these needs, IOM will:  

  • Conduct assessments to identify necessary livelihood support, including accessible market assessment, mapping and inventory in support of the identified livelihoods and value chains in the target locations. 
  • Provide livelihood support towards the recovery of communities affected by climate induced disasters.  
  • Provide livelihood diversification support for host communities affected by impacts of climate change such as drought or floods.  
  • Provide individual and group economic recovery projects, entrepreneurship training, and enabling accessibility to financial resources for vulnerable returnees to help them assimilate into and become productive members of their communities, while addressing the root causes of irregular migration and associated vulnerabilities. 
Funding required
Plan types

Health system strengthening

IOM Kenya will support the strengthening of healthcare systems and will: 

  • Refurbish select primary health care facilities.
  • Build capacity of health professionals, including on referral mechanisms and pathways for mental health cases. 
  • Provide supplies and commodities
  • Reinforce the referral system
  • Support digitalization capacities and strengthen capacity of health workers
  • Deploy a mobile clinic in coordination with the available facilities to reach communities and individuals on the move. 

IOM will also provide support at points of entry and along the mobility corridor to strengthen the surveillance systems. IOM will: 

  • Conduct population mobility mapping (including flow monitoring at POCs and POEs to inform on public health preparedness)
  • Conduct health screening activities, health promotion, and risk communication and community engagement. 
  • Provide supervisory support for disease surveillance at the community level, targeting outbreak and diseases of public health concern while strengthening the medical referral pathway. 
Funding required
Plan types

Mental health and psychosocial support in transition and recovery

IOM will provide mental health and psychosocial support including psychological first aid (PFA) to migrants in transit and return settings who need support due to the hardship of the mobility process and adverse drivers of mobility. This support will be given on a one-on-one basis as well as in focus group settings. In particular, IOM will:

  • Integrate MHPSS in the screening of migrants in transit
  • Provide MHPSS to these vulnerable groups
  • Hold discussion forums with community members to increase awareness and sensitization on the MHPSS conditions and needs of migrants in transit.
  • Use multiple means of IEC to spread transit-friendly messages targeting MHPSS components of coping, including radio messaging, posters and public addresses
Funding required
Plan types

Peacebuilding and peace preservation

Kenya is prone to conflicts due to lack of natural resources especially in the ASALs. To ease the tension in the conflict-prone areas, IOM will:

  • Conduct relevant peacebuilding capacity development activities to build and strengthen social cohesion with community leaders on conflict mitigation and prevention, as well as on conflict management and resolution.
  • Strengthen existing peace committees and local peacebuilding networks through capacity building interventions with members and community leaders to reduce communal tensions and prevent conflicts, including the formation of local peace committees and peacebuilding networks promoting social cohesion and trust building among communities.
  • Support the government and CSOs in conducting community-based events promoting social cohesion (i.e. sports and theatrical events, road shows, among others engaging youth highlighting peacebuilding key messages).
Funding required
Plan types

Provision of water, sanitation and hygiene in transitional and post-crisis situations

For WASH support under transitional and post-crisis situations, IOM Kenya will:

  • Strengthen sustainable access to water including solarized water supply infrastructure.
  • Strengthen governance structures for WASH in the communities including capacity building on operations, care, and maintenance for newly installed or rehabilitated WASH infrastructure.
  • Provide hygiene kits along with hygiene and health promotion activities, including provision and upgrading of necessary sanitation and hygiene facilities (latrines, water piping, water kiosks, among others) in coordination with the WASH and health sectors, to contain the spread of water-borne diseases.

As preparedness and risk reduction measures, IOM Kenya will:

  • Provide water infrastructure support through the construction, repair and upgrade of water supply facilities.
  • Strengthen governance structures for WASH in the communities including capacity building on operations and maintenance for newly installed or rehabilitated infrastructure.
Funding required
Plan types

Adaptation and disaster risk reduction

For adaptation and disaster risk reduction activities, IOM Kenya will support activities to strengthen resilience towards droughts or floods and will:

  • Conduct community-based disaster risk reduction and management capacity building in most climate hazard vulnerable counties of Garissa, Turkana, Wajir, Mandera, Tana River, Baringo, West Pokot, Marsabit, Isiolo and Samburu.
  • Build capacity of knowledge management within the government response mechanisms
  • Map hazardous areas and conduct awareness-raising targeting natural or human-induced disaster-prone communities to understand risks and implement preventive practices 
  • Implement community-based early warning systems to prevent climate impacts including droughts and floods  
Funding required
Plan types
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Figures are as of 31 December 2023. For more details of IOM's operational capacity in country, please see the IOM Capacity section.