East Africa

July 2015 to December 2015
Key Messages
  • Staple food prices in July were more than double pre-conflict levels in parts of South Sudan and Yemen. The conflicts have disrupted trade and caused a precipitous drop in market supply in the most conflict-affected areas. With depreciation of the local currencies against the U.S. dollar (USD) and incredibly low household incomes, as livelihoods have been disrupted by conflict, traders have few incentives to supply the most food insecure areas. Large areas of southern and western Yemen and the Greater Upper Nile (GUN) States in South Sudan are currently in Emergency (IPC Phase 4).

  • Conflict in Yemen and South Sudan, along with political violence in Burundi, has displaced over 3.7 million people. From South Sudan, over 620,700 people fled to Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, and Uganda, and 1.6 million people are internally displaced. Over 188,900 people have fled Burundi for Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). , Over 99,600 people have fled Yemen to Djibouti, Ethiopia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, and Sudan, and over 1.26 million are internally displaced. Most refugees, asylum seekers, and IDPs have constrained access to labor markets, other income-earning opportunities, and food markets. Many of the internally displaced also have difficulty accessing humanitarian assistance. 

  • Acute food insecurity in South Sudan peaked in June and July during the lean season. The combination of conflict, macroeconomic pressures, and market shocks contributed to the decline in access to food and income far below the already low, lean season access. Security constraints have restricted humanitarian assistance to many areas of Unity and Upper Nile States in recent months, further limiting food access in the worst-off areas. 

  • Ongoing conflict, insecurity, and displacement, restrictions on imports and movement of food and fuel, elevated prices of staple foods and cooking gas, and major disruptions to public- and private-sector sources of income are limiting food access for poor households in Yemen. 

  • In southern Afar and Sitti (formerly Shinile) Zone of northern Somali Region in Ethiopia, the March to May Diraac/Sugum rains were well below average, and it has hardly rained at all since the July to September Karan/Karma rains started late. Dry conditions have led to poor livestock body conditions, declines in livestock production and productivity, and a high number of unusual livestock deaths. With below-average rainfall likely to continue for the rest of the rainy season through September, poor households will be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3!) only with the presence of humanitarian assistance through at least December.

  • With below-average June to September rainfall in eastern Meher-producing areas in Ethiopia and central and eastern Sudan, October to December harvests may be below average. Also, planted area in the Greater Upper Nile (GUN) States due to the conflict, is likely to lead to a well below-average harvest in those areas.

  • With likely above-average October to December rainfall in the eastern Horn of Africa during the El Niño, crop and livestock production are likely to be higher than usual. However, flood-prone areas in southern Somalia, southern Ethiopia, coastal areas in Kenya and northern Tanzania, and areas surrounding Lake Victoria in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania may have widespread flooding, limiting or delaying cropping, labor migration, and other essential economic activities. 

  • As stocks are being drawn down, food prices increased from April to July in Ethiopia, northwestern Somalia, the maize belt in Lower Shabelle in southern Somalia, southeastern Kenya, and parts of northern and central Tanzania. In areas currently harvesting or having recently harvested, staple food prices are declining seasonally, including in western Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, southern Tanzania, the sorghum belt in southern Somalia, and bimodal areas of Uganda. Food prices are expected to decline, from October to December across East Africa, as harvests allow households and traders to restock.


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