East Africa

October 2015
Key Messages
  • 3.9 million people are currently in Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phases 3 and 4) in South Sudan. An estimated 30,000 people in Guit, Koch, Leer, and Mayendit in central and southern Unity State are likely in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5). The continued effects of the protracted conflict, sustained very high food prices, likely below-average crop production, eroded coping capacities, and limited humanitarian access mean that even now, at the start of the green harvest, many people are food insecure in the Greater Upper Nile States. Also, due to a variety of reasons, there are food insecure areas in Northern Bahr el-Ghazal, Lakes, Warrap, and the Greater Equatoria States. 

  • By the last week of October, an estimated 4.9 million people had been displaced by conflict in and from South Sudan and Yemen and by political violence in and from Burundi. Conflict has also continued to displace people in Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile in Sudan. In many cases, the displaced have limited access to agricultural land, labor opportunities, markets, and humanitarian assistance. Nearly one in five of the displaced have fled to adjacent or nearby countries. The refugees, asylum seekers, and internally displaced persons (IDPs) are acutely food insecure, and in the worst cases are in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) in parts of Unity State in South Sudan. In addition to their own food insecurity, the displaced consume resources and place pressure on food and labor markets in many of the areas where they congregate, often reducing the food access of the host community.

  • With the primary harvest starting or ongoing in Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya staple food prices are likely to marginally decline. However, below-average crop production in several countries may lead to higher price increases later this year or in 2016.

  • Thousands of people have been displaced along the Shebelle River in East and West Imy Woredas in Ethiopia and in Beledweyn District in Hiiraan Region in Somalia. Flash floods in the lowlands of central and southern Somalia have also occurred at the end of October. Other areas that are likely to experience floods between October and December include parts of southern Ethiopia, especially along the Shebelle, Genale, and Dawa Rivers, southern Somalia, especially along the Shabelle and Juba Rivers, coastal and northeastern lowlands in Kenya and areas along the Tana River, lowlands in northern Tanzania, and lowlands around Lake Victoria. Food insecurity for displaced households and for areas cut off from trade may rise quickly as households become displaced, lose assets, and lose access to income-earning opportunities.


    For more detailed analysis, see the Food Security Outlook for July to December 2015.


Other Reports

East Africa Food Security Outlook
(July - December 2015)


The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on some 35 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, and USGS, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica. Read more about our work.

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