Food Security Outlook Update

Improved security conditions in the center-east encourage an improved Season A

August 2018

August - September 2018

Carte de la situation de securite alimentaire, Stress(Phase 2 de l'IPC) dans le sud-est, Sankuru, les Kivus et Ituri. Crise (Phase 3 de l'IPC) dans le region Kasais, Tanganyika, Ituri et Maniema. Minimal (Phase 1 de l'IPC) dans le nord.

October 2018 - January 2019

Carte de la situation de securite alimentaire, Stress(Phase 2 de l'IPC) dans le sud-est, Sankuru, les Kivus, Maniema, et Ituri. Crise (Phase 3 de l'IPC) dans le region Kasais, Tanganyika, Ituri. Minimal (Phase 1 de l'IPC) dans le nord.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Not mapped
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 only maps the Eastern half of DRC.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Not mapped
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 only maps the Eastern half of DRC.

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
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
Not mapped
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

Key Messages

  • The month of August 2018 marks the start of land preparation activities for agricultural season A in the center-east and north-east and an earlier than usual start to the expected lean season. The climatic predictions lean towards more favorable rainfall compared to the previous season, which would promote the growing cycle of the main staple crops.

  • The impact of the recent outbreak of Ebola virus disease in the provinces of North Kivu (Beni) and Ituri (Mambasa) on household livelihoods remains low to date. As of 20 August, there were 27 likely cases of Ebola, compared with 75 confirmed cases, with a total of 32 confirmed deaths and 27 deaths from probable cases.

  • In Maniema Province, the simultaneous reactivation of several armed groups, which have been fighting each other and the FARDC since May 2018, has led to the displacement of nearly 34,300 people who have not had access to their land for the upcoming agricultural season. A continuation of this situation would increase the food insecurity risk for these populations in the coming months.

CURRENT SITUATION

Security situation and population movements: The security situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo continues to be marked by an acute crisis affecting a large part of the country, and which is manifesting itself in a variety of ways in various areas. In some areas, improved security conditions have contributed to return movements, particularly in the Kasai region, in the provinces of South Kivu, Tanganyika and Ituri, where it is estimated that more than 43 per cent of the displaced persons have already returned to those areas. However, in North Kivu and Maniema Provinces, 32,400 people have been displaced as a result of clashes between the regular forces and the various Mai Mai factions.

New pockets of insecurity: The upsurge in attacks by armed groups in the territories of Kasongo and Kibombo, in the formerly stable area of Maniema, has led to a deterioration in the humanitarian situation in that province and undermines efforts at agricultural recovery in the area. It should also be noted that in the agropastoral mountain areas of South Kivu Province, in Uvira territory, the latest inter-ethnic clashes in June 2018 resulted in the displacement of some 76,000 people, the extermination of cattle herds and the destruction of crops. This situation could have an immediate negative impact on the food security of the population during this period of grazing for pastoralists and affect preparation of agricultural season A by farmers in this area, which is considered to be the agropastoral bread basket of South Kivu.

Agricultural season and rainfall prospects: According to NOAA forecasts, rainfall will be normal during the next agricultural season. However, although the preparatory work for the fields has begun, access to agricultural inputs remains a challenge, especially for returning households.

Early lean season: As the B season was below average in the north-eastern and central-eastern parts of the country, the average duration of household stocks is 1-2 months instead of the usual 3-4 months. As a result, the lean season that normally begins in September started early in August, which could lead households to develop atypical coping strategies.

Food availability and market situation:  Owing to the lower than average level of production in the agricultural season B, food availability in local markets is low, particularly in rural areas in the eastern part of the country. Prices of major food commodities in many markets are increasing, particularly in the southeast of the country. In Kamina, for example, in Haut Katanga province, the price of maize in July rose by almost 20 per cent compared to the previous month. Imports from neighboring countries will be important in maintaining stable prices until the next harvest.

Ebola Epidemic: An epidemic has been declared at the edge of the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri. So far, no official restrictions on trade between the Ebola virus-affected area (Mangina and Mandima) and other border territories and/or countries have been observed. Activities are continuing as usual. However, if this situation persists, it could have multiple consequences, including on the movement of persons, goods and market behavior in the area where armed groups proliferate.

Small ruminant fever persists: Since April, there has been a resurgence of small ruminant fever in the territories of Masisi and Rutshuru in North Kivu Province. The localities of Mukore, Ruhengeri, Gahumba and Rusinga are considered to be at the epicenter of this animal epidemic, which impacted more than 1,635 goats and sheep belonging to some 360 households. This epidemic is causing major losses to the livelihoods of households living in the agropastoral mountains.

Humanitarian assistance: Humanitarian actors are supporting populations in affected areas. For example, WFP and its partners assisted 661,238 people in various provinces, including Kasai, Tanganyika, Ituri, North and South Kivu; other actors (ACTED, OXFAM, CARE, Christian Aid) also provided varied assistance to the vulnerable. However, the level of assistance relative to need remains low. In Djugu, Ituri, it is estimated that less than 17 per cent of households in need will receive assistance for agricultural recovery from FAO and World Relief.

UPDATED ASSUMPTIONS

The current situation has not changed the assumptions developed for the June 2018 to January 2019 Food Security Outlook Report.

PROJECTED OUTLOOK THROUGH JANUARY 2019

Agricultural season B (March-June) harvests were lower than normal due to crop abandonment caused by population movements and climatic hazards. This situation is exacerbated by the low harvests of previous agricultural seasons in the Kasai region and Tanganyika province.

During this agriculturally important period, field preparation work is taking place in the northeast and center-east, including Kasai, South Kivu, Tanganyika and Ituri Provinces. If this work continues unhindered, it could ensure good crop prospects, although access to seeds and tools for these returned households remains an important challenge.

Given the low availability of food expected in the October-December 2018 period, households will increasingly use survival strategies such as decreasing the number of daily meals, purchasing less costly and less preferred foods, etc., and will depend more on market purchases. However, from mid-December 2018, green harvests could improve household food access and food security.

In view of the above, Kasai region, and Tanganyika, Ituri (Djugu), South Kivu and Maniema Provinces will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), while the other areas of the southeast, and North Kivu and South Kivu Provinces will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2).

About this Update

This monthly report covers current conditions as well as changes to the projected outlook for food insecurity in this country. It updates FEWS NET’s quarterly Food Security Outlook. Learn more about our work 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.

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