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 have declined, but periodically affect trade, humanitarian access, and livelihoods. The loss of livelihood assets during the conflict has reduced household food and income sources and eroded coping capacity. Very poor macroeconomic conditions constrain household market access.

Current Observations

A risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) persists during the 2020 harvesting period due to multiple, compounding shocks. Parts of Jonglei are of the highest concern. 

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

Despite the appreciation of currency in Aden in late December 2020, further depreciation and rising food prices are expected in future months given persistent government revenue and foreign currency shortages. 

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

Cross-border trade activities are expected to increase in the coming months following the opening of international land borders; however, fragile macroeconomic conditions will likely to continue to impact trade flows. 

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 UN peacekeeping mission MONUSCO has been extended for one year until December 20 2021 after a Security Council resolution. 

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

In early December, food prices increased two to three-fold above pre-conflict levels; however, as the military offensive has ended economic activity is slowly resuming and food prices have somewhat declined, though remain well above pre-conflict levels. 

Reason for Concern

The ongoing macroeconomic crisis due to persistent low foreign currency reserves and increased USD shortages coupled with high import demand for essential food and non-food items is driving the rapid deterioration of the Sudanese pound.

Current Observations

In early December, food and transport prices continued to increase. Sorghum and millet prices were approximately three times higher than last year and seven 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

The Islamic State of Greater Sahara (ISGS) is now considered the most prolific group of Violent Extremist Organizations in Liptako-Gourma. In 2020, 524 violent events in the region were linked to ISGS, representing more than double the figure from 2019.

Areas of Highest Concern

Country or Region Reason for Concern Observations
South Sudan

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

A risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) persists during the 2020 harvesting period due to multiple, compounding shocks. Parts of Jonglei are of the highest concern. 

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.

Despite the appreciation of currency in Aden in late December 2020, further depreciation and rising food prices are expected in future months given persistent government revenue and foreign currency shortages. 

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.

Cross-border trade activities are expected to increase in the coming months following the opening of international land borders; however, fragile macroeconomic conditions will likely to continue to impact trade flows. 

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 UN peacekeeping mission MONUSCO has been extended for one year until December 20 2021 after a Security Council resolution. 

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. 

In early December, food prices increased two to three-fold above pre-conflict levels; however, as the military offensive has ended economic activity is slowly resuming and food prices have somewhat declined, though remain well above pre-conflict levels. 

Sudan

The ongoing macroeconomic crisis due to persistent low foreign currency reserves and increased USD shortages coupled with high import demand for essential food and non-food items is driving the rapid deterioration of the Sudanese pound.

In early December, food and transport prices continued to increase. Sorghum and millet prices were approximately three times higher than last year and seven 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.

The Islamic State of Greater Sahara (ISGS) is now considered the most prolific group of Violent Extremist Organizations in Liptako-Gourma. In 2020, 524 violent events in the region were linked to ISGS, representing more than double the figure from 2019.

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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