FEWS NET is monitoring the multiple impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on acute food insecurity in the countries where we operate and will incorporate this analysis into our ongoing reporting.


Areas of Highest Concern

Reason for Concern

Conflict events periodically affect trade, humanitarian access, and livelihoods. The loss of livelihood assets from conflict and floods has reduced household food and income sources and eroded coping capacity. Very poor macroeconomic conditions constrain household market access.

Current Observations

Food insecurity continues to worsen during the lean season, and southern Jonglei remains of highest concern. In Greater Equatoria, rainfall deficits are impeding first season planting. 

Reason for Concern

Protracted conflict has severely disrupted livelihoods and reduced income-earning. Food prices remain elevated and food access is inadequate for many households. Currently, over 17 million people are in need of humanitarian food assistance.

Current Observations

Much of western Yemen has experienced a delayed start to the first rainy season (by two weeks or more) as of mid-April. Rainfall is forecast to be below average in the first rainy season.

Reason for Concern

Boko Haram attacks continue in the northeast, and insecurity in the northwest and central states are causing displacement of households and limiting access to livelihoods. Over 2.5 million people are currently internally displaced in these regions.

Current Observations

In mid-April, multiple attacks in Damasak in northern Borno State led to large-scale displacement with most populations fleeing to neighboring Niger or Geidam and Maiduguri in Nigeria. 

Reason for Concern

In November, the significant uptick in conflict in Tigray due to tensions between the national and regional governments led to the disruption to the access of key income and food sources, such as labor migration and livestock sales. 

Current Observations

Dry conditions prevailed across much of Ethiopia in early April, with below-average belg/gu/genna rainfall across most bimodal areas, which is driving below-average area planted in bimodal cropping areas.    

Other Areas of Concern

Reason for Concern

Ongoing conflicts in North Kivu, South Kivu, Ituri, and Tanganyika Provinces have caused continuing displacement and affected households’ abilities to access typical livelihood activities.

Current Observations

After 8 months of ceasefire, more than 41,000 people were displaced in Kasai region at the end of March (OCHA). 

Reason for Concern

The ongoing macroeconomic crisis due to persistent low foreign exchange reserves and increasing shortages of US dollars, coupled with high demand for imports of essential food and non-food items, is driving the rapid deterioration of the Sudanese pound.

Current Observations

Fuel and transport prices continue to remain high. Staple food prices are approximately 150-200 percent higher than last year and six times above the five-year average.

Reason for Concern

The deteriorating security situation is disrupting household access to livelihoods and markets. More than 3,000,000 people are displaced throughout the region.

Current Observations

Over 450 civilians have been killed in the region in 2021, a 12 percent increase compared to the same time last year. 

Reason for Concern

Consecutive poor rainfall seasons including drought conditions for the 2020/21 season are expected to reduce agricultural production and food availability.

Current Observations

Production prospects remain below average, particularly across the south. New COVID-19 lockdown measures implemented to control the increase in new cases.  

Areas of Highest Concern

Country or Region Reason for Concern Observations
South Sudan

Conflict events periodically affect trade, humanitarian access, and livelihoods. The loss of livelihood assets from conflict and floods has reduced household food and income sources and eroded coping capacity. Very poor macroeconomic conditions constrain household market access.

Food insecurity continues to worsen during the lean season, and southern Jonglei remains of highest concern. In Greater Equatoria, rainfall deficits are impeding first season planting. 

Yemen

Protracted conflict has severely disrupted livelihoods and reduced income-earning. Food prices remain elevated and food access is inadequate for many households. Currently, over 17 million people are in need of humanitarian food assistance.

Much of western Yemen has experienced a delayed start to the first rainy season (by two weeks or more) as of mid-April. Rainfall is forecast to be below average in the first rainy season.

Nigeria

Boko Haram attacks continue in the northeast, and insecurity in the northwest and central states are causing displacement of households and limiting access to livelihoods. Over 2.5 million people are currently internally displaced in these regions.

In mid-April, multiple attacks in Damasak in northern Borno State led to large-scale displacement with most populations fleeing to neighboring Niger or Geidam and Maiduguri in Nigeria. 

Ethiopia

In November, the significant uptick in conflict in Tigray due to tensions between the national and regional governments led to the disruption to the access of key income and food sources, such as labor migration and livestock sales. 

Dry conditions prevailed across much of Ethiopia in early April, with below-average belg/gu/genna rainfall across most bimodal areas, which is driving below-average area planted in bimodal cropping areas.    

Other Areas of Concern

Country or Region Reason for Concern Observations
DRC

Ongoing conflicts in North Kivu, South Kivu, Ituri, and Tanganyika Provinces have caused continuing displacement and affected households’ abilities to access typical livelihood activities.

After 8 months of ceasefire, more than 41,000 people were displaced in Kasai region at the end of March (OCHA). 

Sudan

The ongoing macroeconomic crisis due to persistent low foreign exchange reserves and increasing shortages of US dollars, coupled with high demand for imports of essential food and non-food items, is driving the rapid deterioration of the Sudanese pound.

Fuel and transport prices continue to remain high. Staple food prices are approximately 150-200 percent higher than last year and six times above the five-year average.

Bordering areas of Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mali

The deteriorating security situation is disrupting household access to livelihoods and markets. More than 3,000,000 people are displaced throughout the region.

Over 450 civilians have been killed in the region in 2021, a 12 percent increase compared to the same time last year. 

Southern Madagascar

Consecutive poor rainfall seasons including drought conditions for the 2020/21 season are expected to reduce agricultural production and food availability.

Production prospects remain below average, particularly across the south. New COVID-19 lockdown measures implemented to control the increase in new cases.  

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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 approximately 30 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, USGS, and CHC-UCSB, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica.
Learn more About Us.

Link to United States Agency for International Development (USAID)Link to the United States Geological Survey's (USGS) FEWS NET Data PortalLink to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Link to National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Earth ObservatoryLink to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service, Climage Prediction CenterLink to the Climate Hazards Center - UC Santa BarbaraLink to KimetricaLink to Chemonics