Facts: Humanitarian

Kenyans are using the country's revolutionary mobile phone banking service to contribute to drought-relief efforts.


  • Kenyans are using M-Pesa, a mobile phone banking service, to donate money to Kenyan drought-relief efforts.
  • Originally developed as a mobile banking service to allow users to instantly transfer money between phones anywhere in Kenya, M-Pesa is now also being used as a means of fundraising during a time of crisis.
  • Bob Collymore, head of Kenyan telecommunications company Safaricom, said that in the early stages of fundraising efforts, more than 86 percent of individual donations came through M-Pesa and totaled $1.7 million. The money is sent to the Red Cross and used to purchase food aid for Kenyans affected by the drought.

Source: USA Today


Kenya is home to nearly half a million Somali refugees.


  • Kenya's Dadaab refugee camp – the world's largest – houses over 400,000 refugees who have fled instability and famine in Somalia.
  • In July 2011, the Kenyan government announced that it would open a fourth settlement within the Dadaab camp to cope with the influx of refugees. Recent estimates place refugee arrivals between 4,000 and 5,000 people every week.
  • To help fight the famine plaguing Somalia and deal with the growing refugee crisis, Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga has proposed setting up feeding programs on the Kenya-Somalia border.

Sources: AFP, CNN, Voice of America

A Kenyan girl was the first African to be awarded an International Eco-Hero Award

  • The International Young Eco-Hero Award recognizes young people for their environmental achievements.
  • Winne Owade, a 14-year-old girl from Kenya, was awarded third place in the 2005 International Eco-Hero awards for organizing a feeding program to sustain local monkeys that were damaging crops in the surrounding areas as they searched for food.

Source: Free Press.com

Kenya is leading the first business alliance working to end hunger in Africa

  • The Business Alliance Against Chronic Hunger is coordinated by a Kenyan-based secretariat and has over 30 companies and organizations working to develop business-led solutions to hunger.
  • Alliance members have created 150 small-scale businesses and initiatives in a Kenyan pilot program.

Source: World Food ProgramAll Africa

Kenya hosts the largest refugee camp in the world

  • Dadaab, the largest refugee camp in Kenya, provides shelter to 280,000 refugees.
  • Kenya is home to 320,605 refugees. In 2008 alone, 60,000 refugees crossed the border into Kenya seeking asylum.
  • Kenya is building even more camps to take on the increasing numbers of refugees escaping the instability in Somalia.
  • The recent forced shutdown of food aid operations in southern Somalia by Al Shabab, may push 20,000 Somali refugees into Kenyan camps.

Source: UNHCRAssociated PressChristian Science Monitor

Africa's first woman Nobel Peace Prize winner came from Kenya

  • Professor Wangari Maathai, the Kenyan environmentalist, was awarded the prize in 2004 for her dedication to women's rights, ecology and democracy.
  • Professor Maathai was the first woman in East and Central Africa to earn a doctorate degree. She obtained a degree in Biological Sciences from Mount St. Scholastica College in Atchison, Kansas (1964).
  • A role model for world, Prof. Maathai travels the world addressing the critical issue of climate change.

Source: Nobel Prize Biographies