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 is worsening during the lean season. A resurgence of violence in Pibor in May has reportedly displaced up to 20,000 people and suspended food assistance delivery. 

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

The lack of announcement of a new letter of credit cycle—usually quarterly—since January has increased traders’ reliance on the parallel market for hard currency, with food prices expected to increase further in the coming months.

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

Conflict in Northwestern Nigeria continues at elevated levels, driving high levels of displacement and disruption to livelihoods. MSF recently indicated high concern for areas of Zamfara state where there has been a significant increase in acute malnutrition. 

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

According to IOM, over 1.6 million people are displaced across surveyed accessible areas in Tigray where nearly half of the assessed sites have not received food distribution.   

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

The volcanic eruption of the Nyiragongo has led to the displacement of more than 400,000 (OIM) people and is affecting the livelihoods of households depending on the informal sector in Goma. 

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 double compared to last year and 400-500 percent 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

Food prices remain above average due to trade flow disruptions from COVID-19 and insecurity, and above-average institutional demand.  

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

Staple food prices remain above average. Production prospects for the main harvest remain below average, particularly across the south. 

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 is worsening during the lean season. A resurgence of violence in Pibor in May has reportedly displaced up to 20,000 people and suspended food assistance delivery. 

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.

The lack of announcement of a new letter of credit cycle—usually quarterly—since January has increased traders’ reliance on the parallel market for hard currency, with food prices expected to increase further in the coming months.

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.

Conflict in Northwestern Nigeria continues at elevated levels, driving high levels of displacement and disruption to livelihoods. MSF recently indicated high concern for areas of Zamfara state where there has been a significant increase in acute malnutrition. 

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. 

According to IOM, over 1.6 million people are displaced across surveyed accessible areas in Tigray where nearly half of the assessed sites have not received food distribution.   

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.

The volcanic eruption of the Nyiragongo has led to the displacement of more than 400,000 (OIM) people and is affecting the livelihoods of households depending on the informal sector in Goma. 

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 double compared to last year and 400-500 percent 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.

Food prices remain above average due to trade flow disruptions from COVID-19 and insecurity, and above-average institutional demand.  

Southern Madagascar

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

Staple food prices remain above average. Production prospects for the main harvest remain below average, particularly across the south. 

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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