Food Security Outlook

Large populations to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) through January 2018

July 2017

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
National Parks/Reserves
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.IPC phase classifications for concentrations of displaced people are included in Somalia, Sudan and Uganda country maps.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

Key Messages

  • South Sudan continues to face widespread, extreme food insecurity in many areas and increased assistance is needed to prevent the loss of lives and livelihoods. The area of greatest concern is central Unity, parts of which are in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3!). A risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) persists, primarily on remote islands in the White Nile River between Central Unity and Jonglei, where data on current outcomes is unavailable. 

  • In Ethiopia, parts of Somali Region are expected to remain in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) through January 2018, particularly Dollo, Korahe, and Afder zones, in the absence of humanitarian assistance. Food consumption gaps are being driven by two consecutively poor rainy seasons in late 2016 and early 2017 that resulted in significant excess livestock sales and deaths, a severe decline in livestock productivity, and below-average livestock to cereals terms-of-trade.

  • In Somalia, an estimated 2.5 to 3 million people will remain in need of humanitarian assistance through the end of 2017, with large areas expected to be in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) in the absence of assistance. In the event there were a significant interruption to current food assistance programs, sharp increases in prices, further declines in household food access, and an effective response to ongoing disease outbreaks were not implemented, Famine (IPC Phase 5) is possible.

  • Yemen remains the largest food security Emergency in the worst, driven primarily by conflict. Large populations are expected to continue facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes through January 2018, with IDPs and poor households in conflict zones likely facing the most severe food security outcomes. A major cholera outbreak in 20 of 22 governorates is also contributing to increased concern about the potential for excess mortality.

Outlook By Country

Ethiopia

  • The greatest areas of concern in Ethiopia are in Dollo and Korahe zones in Somali Region where poor households are expected to be in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) through January 2018. Food assistance delivery by both WFP and the Somali Regional Government has been interrupted since mid-May, and if it does not resume by the end of July, some of the worst-affected households are expected to move into Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) and levels of acute malnutrition and mortality may rise further.
  • Following the below-average performance of the Gu/Genna rainy season after the failed previous season, other southeastern pastoral areas are expected to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes through at least November due to the poor regeneration of pasture and water resources that have negatively impacted livestock productivity and household income. The forecasted above-average 2017 Deyr rainy season is expected to lead to gradual improvements in livestock body conditions and productivity, improving household food and income access.
  • The 2017 Belg harvests are estimated to be below average in most Belg-producing areas of the country, which will lead to a significant reduction in household food access. Late planting, particularly in lowland areas of SNNPR, has led to a two-month delay in the harvest. Poor households in portions of SNNPR, eastern Oromia, and northeastern Amhara are likely to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through the lean period through the end of September.
  • Pledged and available resources for PSNP and humanitarian assistance, associated with the Ethiopia Humanitarian Requirements Document (HRD), is only expected through the end of June. Although additional funding has been committed to WFP and JEOP, specific funding levels, timing of deliveries, and the number of beneficiaries that will be able to be reached are currently unclear. In Somali Region, where the needs are the highest, the numbers exceed the planned beneficiary amounts, and emergency assistance will be required through at least early 2018. In JEOP operational areas of Oromia, Amhara, Tigray, and SNNPR, the needs for emergency food assistance are expected to decline in October with the Meher harvest.

Kenya

  • Following significantly below-average March to May long rains across the majority of Kenya’s pastoral and marginal agricultural areas, large areas of the country are experiencing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes and atypically high food assistance needs, projected to continue until at least November when the short rains season is well underway. Humanitarian assistance is ongoing in various parts of Kenya, with the scale of assistance mitigating the severity of outcomes in parts of Turkana with poor households in Stressed! (IPC Phase 2).
  • In pastoral areas, partial regeneration of rangeland is expected to lead to an atypically early lean season in July. Below-average livestock productivity has kept milk production and livestock sales at low levels, limiting household income and food access due to high staple food prices. Poor households in many pastoral areas are likely to continue to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes through January 2018. However, some localized poor households could experience worse outcomes through October in the absence of emergency food assistance.
  • Below-average maize production in both the high and medium-producing areas as well as the marginal agricultural areas due to below-normal rainfall and the effects of Fall Armyworm is expected. This is likely to keep staple food prices high, which are 17 – 49 percent above five-year averages in the major urban consumption markets, constraining household purchasing power. Despite the Government of Kenya’s subsidies on maize flour and maize imports, prices are expected to remain high through January 2018.
  • In southeastern and coastal marginal agricultural areas, crop production activities, while at below-average levels, continue to provide some income-earning opportunities, facilitating needed market purchases. The below-average long rains harvest in July is expected to provide a temporary reprieve from market dependence, but by August, supplies will be depleted and drive more poor households into Crisis (IPC Phase 3), particularly in northern Kitui and Kilifi

For more information, see the Food Security Outlook from June 2017 to January 2018.

Somalia

  • In early May, FSNAU and FEWS NET released a joint alert warning that Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes would persist through June in agropastoral areas of Bay and Bakool, Northern Inland Pastoral, Hawd Pastoral, and Addun Pastoral livelihood zones and 3.2 million people would be in need of emergency humanitarian assistance. Large-scale assistance was delivered in many areas in recent months and has mitigated more extreme outcomes. In several of these areas, Crisis (IPC Phase 3!) outcomes are now present, but Emergency (IPC Phase 4) persists in areas where assistance is unable to reach rural populations in need.
  • An estimated 2.5 to 3 million people will remain in need of emergency humanitarian assistance though the end 2017. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes are expected and in the event that there is significant interruption to current food assistance programs, prices rise sharply and household food access declines further, and an effective response to ongoing disease outbreaks is not implemented, Famine (IPC Phase 5) is possible.[1] Of highest risk are agropastoral areas of Bay and Bakool. The post-Gu assessment is ongoing and an updated estimate based on new data will be available in August.
  • Gu rainfall was well below average in many areas of Somalia and production is expected to be approximately 50 percent of normal, a third consecutive very poor harvest. In southern agricultural and agropastoral areas, the July/August Gu harvest and agricultural labor opportunities available in late 2017 will increase food access somewhat, but Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes are expected to persist. Of greatest concern are agropastoral areas of Bay and Bakool, Southern Rainfed Agropastral of Lower Shabelle, and Southern Agropastoral of Bakool, Gedo, and Hiraan.
  • In pastoral livelihood zones of greatest concern, including Northern Inland Pastoral, Hawd Pastoral, and Addun Pastoral, Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes are expected through January. Poor households have few saleable livestock and no access to milk through September. Consumption will improve slightly between October and January, after a few goat births increase milk availability, but poor households will still lack access to sufficient income to purchase food. The results of a household economy approach (HEA) outcome analysis conducted by FEWS NET in June 2016 found that, even with coping strategies, households in Northern Inland Pastoral will face food consumption gaps throughout 2017.

For more information, see the Food Security Outlook from June 2017 to January 2018.

South Sudan

  • Wide-spread, extreme food insecurity persists throughout South Sudan and increased humanitarian assistance is needed to prevent the loss of lives and livelihoods. The area of greatest concern is central Unity, where Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3!) outcomes are present. However, data is unavailable for an estimated 10,000 people isolated on remote islands of the White Nile, many of whom lack access to humanitarian assistance. It is feared outcomes are worse among these populations and some households may be in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5).[2] A risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5)[3] persists, primarily for populations on remote islands of the White Nile.
  • Recent food security data and key informant information indicate that food security in northern and western Jonglei has deteriorated sharply in 2017. Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes persists and of highest concern are households in western Jonglei who are also displaced to islands along the White Nile. Some of these households may be in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5). Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes, and associated high levels of acute malnutrition, also exist in Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Western Bahr el Ghazal, Upper Nile, Central Equatoria, and Eastern Equatoria.
  • Food security is expected to improve in September with increased access to milk, fish, water lilies, and harvests. However, likely below-average production and extremely high food prices will limit household food access. Furthermore, disease incidence is very high, with nearly 5,000 cases of cholera reported in 23 counties since January. Food security improvements will be short-lived and wide-spread Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is still expected during this time. Further deterioration in food security is expected after January 2018 when households deplete food stocks and the availability of wild foods and fish seasonally decline.

For more information, see the Food Security Outlook from June 2017 to January 2018.

Sudan

  • Humanitarian assistance needs are expected to remain high due to continued needs among IDPs and resident households in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, IDPs in Jebel Marra, refugees from South Sudan, households in localized areas that saw poor harvests in 2016, as well as well as long-term IDPs. Through the peak of the lean season between June and September 2017, up to four million people will likely require assistance, with needs likely to decline with harvests between October 2017 and January 2018.
  • SPLM-N-controlled areas of South Kordofan and IDPs in Jebel Marra will likely be in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) between June and September 2017. Displacement and restricted population movements are resulting in reduced own crop production, high staple food prices, and disruptions to normal livelihood activities. In South Kordofan, humanitarian access also remains restricted.
  • Starting in October, food security outcomes will improve to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in Jebel Marra and SPLM-N-controlled areas due to increased wild food availability, increased community support, and slight improvements in access to food via market purchases.
  • Throughout Sudan, household food access should start to improve beginning in October with the onset of harvests, access to harvest labor and livestock products, and seasonal declines in staple food prices. Although much of the season remains, rainfall progress to date has been favorable, and international and regional forecasts suggest cumulative will be average in most areas of Sudan during the main June to September 2017 rainy season.

For more information, see the Food Security Outlook from June 2017 to January 2018.

Uganda

  • As of June 12, the total number of South Sudanese refugees in Uganda reached 956,822. Humanitarian assistance is a key source of food and income for refugees and most are Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) with ongoing assistance. However, WFP is expected to face funding shortfalls in 2017 and may be required to cut rations, as occurred in May. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected in the absence of humanitarian assistance.
  • In southern and central Uganda, poor households have improved from Stressed (IPC Phase 2) to Minimal (IPC Phase 1) with the harvest. In northern areas, where the harvest will take place one month late, improvement to Minimal (IPC Phase 1) is expected in July/August. Due to the combined impact of below-average rainfall and Fall Armyworm, national production is expected to be 15 to 30 percent below average. Similar to late 2016 and the first half of 2017, exports to the region are likely to be below average for the remainder of 2017.
  • In Karamoja, the lean season is expected to end in August when the green harvest arrives. Until then, poor households in Moroto, Napak, and Kaabong are expected to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) as income will be insufficient to purchase adequate food at very high prices. In August, very poor households are expected to improve to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through January.

For more information, see the Food Security Outlook from June 2017 to January 2018.

Yemen

  • Large populations in Yemen continue to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4) acute food insecurity, the latter of which is associated with increased acute malnutrition and an increased risk of excess mortality. IDP populations and poor households in conflict zones are likely facing the most severe outcomes.
  • Yemen continues to face a risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) in a worst-case scenario in which conflict significantly disrupts or halts imports through Al Hudaydah, intra-country trade becomes significantly disrupted, and humanitarian assistance fails to reach populations most in need.
  • Despite insecurity and funding limitations, large-scale humanitarian assistance continues to play an important role in preventing more severe levels of food insecurity in many areas. FEWS NET estimates that in Al Hudaydah, Amran, Hajjah, Sa’dah, Sana’a, and Ta’izz governorates, food security outcomes would be at least one phase higher in the absence of current food assistance provided by WFP.
  • A severe cholera outbreak has expanded to most governorates of Yemen. By late June, with more than 185,000 suspected cases identified. Worst-affected governorates include Sana’a City, Al Hudaydah, Amran, and Hajjah. The outbreak is attributed to poor water sanitation and hygiene and could lead to increased mortality, as well as reduced productive capacity for affected households.

Remote Monitoring Countries[4]

Burundi

  • The 2017 Season B harvest is ongoing, and crop production is generally average to above-average across the majority of the country. As a result, many poor households, who were previously facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) are likely to face None (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity from June to September due to increased food availability and higher incomes. However, in localized areas of Cibitoke, Bubanza, Muyinga, and Kirundo provinces, poor households are likely to remain in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) due to below-average crop production and it is expected there will still be some worst-affected households in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).
  • The prices of many staple foods have continued to significantly decrease since mid-May, with the initial harvest. For beans, the most traded food commodity in Burundi, prices fell even earlier, which is facilitating better market access. However, recurrent fuel shortages, resulting in higher transportation costs and impeding flows of produce from surplus to deficit areas, are likely to cause food price instability and keep prices above five-year averages despite the favorable harvest.

For more information, see the Remote Monitoring Report for June 2017.

Djibouti

  • Rainfall during the March to June Diraac/Sougoum rainy season has been average to slightly above average, despite minimal rainfall in April. This has restored pasture and water resources in all areas and vegetation conditions are near average. In the Southeast Pastoral Border livelihood zone and areas north of Obock City, though, rangeland conditions are lower than last year.
  • Poor pastoralists in the Southeast Pastoral Border livelihood zone are expected to face food consumption gaps and be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) during the ongoing June to September lean season. This is because herd sizes are below average and pastoralists are unable to sell sufficient livestock and milk to purchase adequate food, and other income-earning opportunities are seasonally low. Food security will improve to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) during the October to January period when households have seasonally higher access to milk. 
  • In early June, Qatar withdrew its peacekeeping forces from the contested border area between Djibouti and Eritrea. This prompted the Government of Djibouti to send troops to secure the contested territory. Although no food security related impacts have been reported, there is concern that insecurity could further restrict the movement of households towards markets in this area that is already fairly isolated. 

For more information, see the Remote Monitoring Report for June 2017.

Rwanda

  • Season 2017 B (February to May) rainfall was near-average and well-distributed, resulting in average to above-average harvests across the country. As a result, Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes are expected to persist through January 2018. However, localized areas, mainly in Bugesera and Rusizi districts, had below-average crop production due to lower rainfall, and some poor households there are likely to face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes through January 2018.
  • With the initial harvest, the prices of most food staples decreased in May, after peaking in late April. Greater food availability and price declines are facilitating better food access. Prices are likely to remain lower through early September before the start of the lean season and are then projected to seasonally increase before the Season A harvest in December.
  • According to UNHCR, as of May 31, Rwanda hosts nearly 160,000 refugees, of which 53 percent are from Burundi and the remaining are Congolese. The flow of refugees from Burundi fell to about 550 monthly arrivals this quarter compared to approximately 700 in the first quarter of 2017. WFP recently reported serious funding shortfalls and requires USD 12.6 million to provide in-kind and cash-based food assistance for refugees from June to November 2017.

For more information, see the Remote Monitoring Report for June 2017.

Tanzania

  • The Msimu and Masika harvests are ongoing and Msimu production is expected to be average in most southern bimodal areas. However, Masika production is likely to be below average in some northeastern and northwestern bimodal areas and parts of central Tanzania. Anticipated below-normal production in these areas is attributed to below average seasonal rains, crop damage from Fall Armyworm, and flooding in northwestern areas.
  • Food security is improving among poor households in northern bimodal areas during the June/July harvest. However, these poor households have experienced two seasons of below-average production. Most will remain atypically dependent on markets, and high food prices will lower food access. As a result, poor households in these regions are likely to be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through January 2018. 
  • According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Tanzania is hosting 315,000 refugees as of June 19, roughly 241,000 of whom are from Burundi. The number of new arrivals from Burundi declined significantly over the past month relative to previous months. Refugees are currently receiving an 80 percent ration of maize and full ration of other commodities. However, WFP faces funding shortfalls and a pipeline break is possible in August. In the absence of assistance, food security among refugees would likely deteriorate from Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) to Crisis (IPC Phase 3). 

For more information, see the Remote Monitoring Report for June 2017.

 

[1] According to the IPC, a Famine (IPC Phase 5) has occurred when the following three criteria are met: 1. At least 20 percent of households in the area of concern are classified in Catastrophe; 2. The prevalence of acute malnutrition is very high, above 30 percent if measured using weight-for-height or above 17 percent if measured using Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC); and, 3. Excess mortality has occurred, as evidenced by a Crude Death Rate (CDR) above 2/10,000/day.

[2] Catastrophe, as defined by the IPC, is when a household group has an extreme lack of food and/or other basic needs even with full employment of coping strategies. Starvation, death, and destitution are evident.

[3] According to the IPC, a Famine (IPC Phase 5) has occurred when the following three criteria are met: 1. At least 20 percent of households in the area of concern are classified in Catastrophe; 2. The prevalence of acute malnutrition is very high, above 30 percent if measured using weight-for-height or above 17 percent if measured using Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC); and, 3. Excess mortality has occurred, as evidenced by a Crude Death Rate (CDR) above 2/10,000/day.

[4] With remote monitoring, an analyst typically works from a nearby regional office, relying on a network of partners for data. Compared to the previous series of countries in which FEWS NET has a local office, reports on remote monitoring countries may offer less detail.

Events That Could Change The Outlook

Area

Event

Impact on food security conditions

Horn of Africa

Below-average Oct-Dec 2017 rainfall

In already worst-affected pastoral areas, below-average October-December 2017 rainfall would lead to livestock abortions and limited livestock conception and, as a result, pastoralists would lose further livestock. If livestock herd sizes further reduced, poor households would continue to have no access to milk or livestock to sell to purchase cereal. Many poor households would need to sell remaining, productive livestock to repay debts. Further pastoral destitution and displacement would be likely.

In already worst-affected agropastoral areas, well below-average rainfall would result in another consecutive very poor season. Households would have limited access to agricultural labor, their key source of income, and restocking of own-produced foods would be limited. Staple food prices would likely further rise, and household purchasing power would decline. After several seasons of purchasing on credit, households would face increased difficulty borrowing to access food. In the absence of humanitarian assistance, Famine (IPC Phase 5) is possible in Bay and Bakool in Somalia.

South Sudan

Recommitment of the warring parties to the August 2015 Peace Agreement

Efforts to implement the Peace Agreement that lead to a permanent cease fire would improve the security and allow households to slowly regain their livelihoods and return to their places of origin. Trade flows and humanitarian assistance could better reach households in need, and households would be able to move in search of food and pursue income-earning opportunities. Food insecurity would be less severe throughout the outlook period and the risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) would greatly decline.

Yemen

Major, prolonged interruption in food imports due to conflict or major changes in macroeconomic policies

Although informal trade across land borders would be likely, food availability at local markets would quickly decline. Food security outcomes would likely deteriorate with the possibility of households facing Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5).

Yemen

Expansion of ground fighting to Sana’a City

Suspension of international and local remittance systems, with serious implications for livelihoods, business functioning, and salary payments across the country. Increased number of people facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food insecurity.

 

About Scenario Development

To project food security outcomes, FEWS NET develops a set of assumptions about likely events, their effects, and the probable responses of various actors. FEWS NET analyzes these assumptions in the context of current conditions and local livelihoods to arrive at a most likely scenario for the coming six months. Learn more here.

About FEWS NET

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 34 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, and USGS, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica. Read more about our work.