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Heightened conflict in Sudan and South Sudan is likely to increase food insecurity

  • Food Security Outlook
  • East Africa
  • August 2013 - January 2014
Heightened conflict in Sudan and South Sudan is likely to increase food insecurity

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  • Key Messages
  • Regional Overview
  • Areas of Concern
  • Events that Might Change the Outlook
  • Key Messages
    • Food security outcomes are likely to improve in many areas from July to December even as 12.1 million people remain in Stressed (IPC Phase 2), Crisis (IPC Phase 3), or Emergency (IPC Phase 4) in Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, and Uganda.

    • Although food security outcomes are anticipated to improve from October through December in parts of Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania due to favorable production from July to September, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is likely to persist through December in parts of Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, and South Sudan. Emergency (IPC Phase 4) will continue in Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North- (SPLM-N-) controlled areas of South Kordofan from July to September. 

    • Conflict in parts of South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and South Darfur States in Sudan, Jonglei, and Warrap in South Sudan, and parts of southern Somalia will continue to drive acute food insecurity among poor households through December.

    Regional Overview
    Current Situation

    Since July 2012, substantial improvements in household food security have occurred in many parts of Somalia, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Kenya. Improvements are driven by increases in household food supply and incomes, following harvests of food crops, improved livestock production, enhanced milk yields, availability of labor wages during harvesting periods, land preparation, and planting from June through mid-August, and continuing access to humanitarian assistance in conflict-affected areas along the border of Sudan and South Sudan, in Somalia, and in drought-affected areas in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Djibouti. Yet, over 12 million people continue to face Stressed (IPC Phase 2), Crisis (IPC Phase 3), and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) in Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi, and Uganda. Continued acute food insecurity is the result of ongoing conflict and localized areas of poor production in Sudan, South Sudan, and Somalia, and a succession of poor production seasons in parts of the eastern, marginal, Meher-producing areas in Tigray, Amhara, and Oromia in Ethiopia, the southeastern and coastal lowlands in Kenya, the southeastern pastoral area in Djibouti, and Karamoja in Uganda.

    The February to June rains were mostly normal to above normal in terms of amount in the eastern and southern areas of the region, but they ended earlier in April and May than usual. Below average total February to June rains in the lowlands of southeastern Kenya, the highlands of northeastern Tigray, eastern Amhara, northern Somali, and northeastern Afar Region

    in Ethiopia, and uneven temporal distribution coupled with a one month early cessation in May in the agropastoral areas of Hiran Region in Somalia, northeastern Djibouti, and parts of the cropping areas of the Equatoria states in South Sudan, resulted in below average harvests and livestock production. Reduced crop and livestock production is also attributed to a delay in the onset of the Belg rains in the northeastern highlands and parts of East and West Hararghe Zones in Oromia Region in Ethiopia. The three-week to one month early rainfall cessation reduced crop yields and performance in southern and central Somalia, the southeastern lowlands of Kenya, and southeastern pastoral areas of Djibouti. Cassava and banana crops suffered significant pest and disease damage in the cropping areas of Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania, causing a reduction in yields in affected areas. Significant cricket and other pest damage to crops were also reported from some areas of southern and central Somalia.

    The June to September rains became established mostly on time or a bit early in many parts of South Sudan, Sudan, southwestern Djibouti, Ethiopia, and areas of Uganda, western Kenya, northern Somalia, the coastal areas of Kenya and southern Somalia, and northern Tanzania. However, the rains started up to one month late in northwestern Ethiopia, eastern and central Sudan, parts of Darfur, and northern and southeastern parts of South Sudan. Flooding since early August in eastern Sudan has further delayed some agricultural activities such as planting, and it has displaced urban households, primarily along the Blue Nile River.

    Pasture, browse, and water availability are declining seasonally in many pastoral areas of the region including southern, northern, and central Somalia, southern and southeastern Ethiopia, northern, northwestern, northeastern, and southern Kenya, and northern Tanzania. Migration of livestock and pastoralists to dry-season grazing areas is continuing in many areas, having began one month earlier than usual at the end of May to mid-June, due to an early end to the rainy season, in effect, starting the dry season and associated lean season earlier than usual in some areas. However, livestock are returning to wet-season grazing pastures in pastoral areas that are dependent on June to September rains in southwestern South Sudan, southern Sudan, northern Somalia, and western Djibouti, following the establishment of these rains. However, normal migration patterns are disrupted in parts of Jonglei State in South Sudan and parts of South Darfur and the border areas of South Kordofan due to on-going conflict.

    Seasonal trends are a primary driver of changes in staple food prices. Increased food supply in areas where harvests are ongoing, for example, has stabilized or caused prices to fall. However, on-going conflict and atypically higher than normal export volumes are causing prices to rise unusually in some areas. White sorghum prices are higher than normal in July compared to June, rising between six and 19 percent in key markets in Sudan including Gadarif, Kadugli, El Obeid, Khartoum, and Nyala. While current prices are on average 10 percent lower than in 2012, they are on average 60 percent higher than their five-year averages, the result of high inflation since 2011. Food prices are likely to rise further due to the late start to the main rainy season in the sorghum surplus-producing areas in eastern Sudan. Prices may begin to decline from October onwards when the green harvest becomes available, especially in areas that are not impacted by conflict.

    Maize and sorghum prices are also increased between 10 and 12 percent from June to July in Mekele, Dire Dawa, and Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. High prices are attributed to a lowered 2012 Meher and 2013 Belg harvests in eastern, marginal areas. However, favorable March to May Gu/Genna rains coupled with increased demand for livestock during Ramadan in parts of Somali Region and other southern pastoral areas have resulted in improved livestock to cereal terms of trade (ToT). Maize and sorghum prices declined between four to 20 percent from June to July in Kapoeta, Malakal, and Aweil in South Sudan, attributed to increased supply from the green harvest in the greenbelt areas. However, prices are rising seasonally in Bor and Juba as the May to August lean season progresses. Red sorghum prices are declining seasonally in southern Somalia, following the start of the July to August Gu harvest. However, transmission of those lowered prices to markets in central and northern Somalia is impeded by poor infrastructure, insecurity, and high roadside taxes. Sorghum prices have remained stable in most markets in Djibouti, but they rose by 16 percent in Ali Sabieh due to higher prices in source markets in Ethiopia where, overall, 2012/2013 sorghum production was below average. Maize, banana, and bean prices have declined seasonally in Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya due ongoing harvests.


    The regional assumptions guiding the food security outlook for July to December are:

    • The cumulative June to September rains will be near normal in the northern sector, including western and central Ethiopia, northern Somalia, South Sudan, and eastern and central crop-producing areas in Sudan, following a one month delayed onset. Cumulative rainfall is also anticipated to be average to above average in western Kenya, eastern Uganda, and coastal areas of Somalia and northern Kenya.
    • Cumulative June to September rains are expected to be average to below average in northeastern Amhara, southern Tigray, northern Afar, northern Somali Region in Ethiopia, parts of the Darfur States, and South Kordofan in Sudan.
    • Staple food prices are likely to remain elevated between July and September in most markets in Sudan, South Sudan, southeastern and coastal areas of Kenya, eastern marginal areas of Ethiopia, northern Uganda, and Somalia as household food stocks deplete and the amount of market purchases increases.
    • However, staple food prices are expected to decline significantly between October and December in most markets in western and central Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, and western Ethiopia, following harvests, easing the pressure on the purchasing capacities of poor households.
    • Conflict is expected decline during the June to September rainy season in West Darfur, conflict-affected border areas of South Kordofan and Blue Nile States in Sudan, areas in South Sudan along the border with Sudan, and in Pibor County in Jonglei State in South Sudan, mainly due to reduced mobility during the rainy season.
    • However, conflict is expected to increase starting in October after the end of the rainy season. The rise in conflict is likely to negate improvements in household food supply and cause further displacements, constrain access to trade, humanitarian assistance and labor opportunities.
    • The Implementation Matrix between Sudan and South Sudan will likely be suspended in late August, as the Government of Sudan has indicated. Suspension of the Implementation Matrix is likely to lead to reduced cross-border flows of cereals from Sudan to South Sudan, make access to cross-border grazing areas more difficult, and reduce the flow oil and associated revenues. This will likely lead to continued inflation, a poor balance of payments, and heightened food prices in sorghum-deficit areas.
    • The Abyei referendum, currently scheduled for October, will likely not take place as no mechanisms for it to occur that have been instituted, so far. Insecurity and further displacements of households residing in or near Abyei are likely to occur.
    • Access to humanitarian assistance will likely be reduced from October through December, coinciding with the dry season and increased troop mobility, in areas of conflict in South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and the Darfur States in Sudan and Unity, Jonglei, and Upper Nile States in South Sudan, disrupting agricultural and livestock production and further reducing humanitarian access.
    • Agricultural labor demand is expected to increase between August and December during weeding and harvesting in crop-producing areas in Ethiopia, western Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi. Labor demand will also increase from October to December in livestock-producing areas resulting from calving, kidding, and lambing in Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, and northern Somalia, providing improved household incomes.
    • Livestock prices are anticipated to rise due to high demand for exports for the Hajj season from Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Somalia and improved body conditions and productivity in the rest of the region.
    • Cross-border inflows of food commodities from Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda into Kenya and South Sudan are anticipated to increase through September, moderating the upward pressure on food prices, especially in markets near the borders.
    • Humanitarian assistance will support household food access for poor rural and urban households in Djibouti, pastoral and marginal agricultural farmers in Kenya, agropastoralists in Karamoja, drought-affected households in the agropastoral and pastoral areas of Afar and Somali Regions and farm households in eastern, marginal, Meher-producing areas of northeastern Tigray, eastern Amhara, and eastern Oromia, and conflict and drought-affected households in southern and central Somalia, southern Sudan, and Jonglei State and the northern areas in South Sudan.
    Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

    The expected normal June to September rains follow generally average to above average February to June rains. Both of these seasons are likely to lead to improved food security outcomes, especially from October through December during the period of primary harvests across much of East Africa. Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes are prevalent and are likely to continue through December in Tanzania, Burundi, most of -, and most of Uganda. However, poorer crop production conditions are likely to lead to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) in Karamoja in Uganda and the Eastern Semi-Arid Agropastoral and the Eastern Congo Nile Highland Subsistence Farming livelihood zones in Rwanda. Improvements in food supply for poor households have occurred, following harvests and enhanced livestock production in most parts of Somalia, southern and southeastern Ethiopia, central Djibouti, southeastern and northern Kenya, Eastern, Central, and Western Equatoria States in South Sudan, most of Darfur and northeastern Sudan, and Karamoja in Uganda, all anticipated to be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from September through December.

    However, food insecurity is deepening in conflict and drought-affected areas in South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and the Darfur States in Sudan, in Jonglei, parts of Lakes, and Warrap State in South Sudan. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is dominant among poor households in those areas. In addition, poor households in SPLM-controlled areas of South Kordofan are anticipated to be in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) through September, resulting from a combination of consistently low production since 2011 and limited access to humanitarian assistance, labor markets, land for cultivation, trade, and wild foods. Harvests from October onwards are expected to increase household food access and reduce food insecurity for poor households in South Kordofan, leading to an improvement to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through December. Food insecurity is likely to be at Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or higher among IDPs in Somalia, poor households in pastoral areas of northern Afar in Ethiopia, localized areas of southeastern Kenya, and Djibouti’s Southeastern Pastoral Border livelihood zone. 

    Areas of Concern


    An estimated 3.87 million people in Sudan will face Stressed (IPC Phase 2), Crisis (IPC Phase 3), and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) through the end of the lean season in late September. Conflict is driving food insecurity, particularly in South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and the Darfur States. In 2013 alone, about 400,000 people have been displaced by conflict in South Kordofan and the Darfur States. The impacts of conflict are likely to be compounded by the anticipated suspension of the Implementation Matrix in August. The suspension is expected to cause a reduction in oil production and revenues, resulting in a decline in rising or continued inflation and increased restrictions on cross-border trade, grazing, and labor movements.. The restrictions are accentuating acute food insecurity by reducing purchasing capacities through a combination of rising food prices and reduced household income.

    Emergency (IPC Phase 4) in conflict-affected, SPLM-controlled areas in the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan State is expected to continue through September. In South Kordofan State, FEWS NET estimates that about 200,000 to 220,000 residents and IDPs are residing in SPLM-N-controlled areas. Although the August to September rainfall is expected to continue normally in South Kordofan, the planted area in SPLM-N-controlled areas will be less than usual due to reduced access to land and production inputs such as seeds and fertilizer. Household food stocks depleted early because of poor production in 2012, leading to dependence on markets starting in February. The next harvest will also be delayed by one month up to November because of the late start to the rainy season, lengthening the lean season even further. Poor households are increasingly dependent on wild foods because they lack income to purchase food and have limited coping options. Access to labor opportunities is also limited by the difficulty of migrating to Government of Sudan- (GoS-) controlled areas, creating substantial food consumption gaps. However, household food insecurity is likely to improve to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) at the beginning of the green harvest in November through December, when household food stocks will be briefly replenished. Although food security is likely to decline during the lean season from July through September for about 220,000 to 250,000 people displaced in conflict-affected GoS-controlled areas of South Kordofan State, it is expected to remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through December. Poor households in GoS-controlled areas have better access to areas arable land, labor opportunities, and humanitarian assistance than those in SPLM-N-controlled areas.

    Crop and livestock production in SPLM-controlled areas of the Blue Nile State is anticipated to be more favorable than in South Kordofan, due to greater access to land for cultivation and production inputs. Households in SPLM-N-controlled areas of Blue Nile State have better access to both informal trade with GoS-controlled areas in Blue Nile and with Beninshangul-Gumuz Region in Ethiopia. Nevertheless, food insecurity remains precarious for about 100,000 displaced people in SPLM-N-controlled areas whose livelihoods have been severely disrupted by displacement and conflict. They will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through September improving to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) during the October to December harvest.

    About 300,000 people have been displaced by fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and rebel groups in South, West, and North Darfur States in addition to tribal conflict. In addition, IDPs displaced in the early 2000s and local populations indirectly affected by the conflict are also at risk of worsening food insecurity. The northern part of South Darfur, the Nyala market basin, is the worst-affected by the impacts of conflict. 630,000 people have been displaced since the early 2000s, 160,000 of them between January to July 2013. Poor and displaced households are faced with recurrent price spikes because insecurity has lengthened transportation routes for food and fuel, sometimes doubling the two weeks it normally takes for supplies from central Sudan. Although some newly displaced households lack humanitarian assistance and are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) at least through September, they constitute less than the 20 percent of the overall population and are likely to be integrated into assistance programs from October to December. Subsequently, the newly displaced in South Darfur are classified as Stressed (!) (IPC Phase 2!) from October through December, the harvest period in surrounding farms. Stressed (IPC Phase 2) will likely be maintained among host families and the other 1.4 million IDPs in the Darfur States through December, coinciding with increased household food stocks during the October to December harvest.

    The recovery from a combination of poor production in 2011, high prices, and macroeconomic shocks from 2011 through most of 2012 is anticipated to strengthen in most other areas of Sudan, outside the conflict-affected areas in South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and the Darfur States. In particular, household food stocks will be replenished by harvests from October to December. Minimal (IPC Phase 1) is expected to prevail in secure areas of Sudan through December.

    South Sudan

    About 2.2 million people in South Sudan face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3). Areas of concern include Pibor County in Jonglei, Northern and Western Bahr el Ghazal, Warrap, Unity, Lakes, Upper Nile, and Western Equatoria States. Also, refugees in Pariang County in Unity State and Maban County in Upper Nile State are populations of concern. However, the areas that are most affected by conflict, displacement, and poor production include Pibor County in Jonglei State and the Abyei area, a situation that is likely to accentuate through the lean season in September. The likely suspension of both the Implementation Matrix and the Abyei referendum is anticipated to accentuate tensions between Sudan and South Sudan and reduce access to food from cross-border trade with Sudan. These trends will also continue to cause higher than normal food prices because of lengthened trade routes, constrained labor movements and opportunities, and reduced access to humanitarian assistance.

    Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Crisis but only due to humanitarian assistance (IPC Phase 3!) are expected prevail through December in Pibor County. Livelihoods have been disrupted for 100,000 people, around 70 percent of the county’s estimated population, after being displaced by inter-tribal conflict and fighting between Yau Yau rebels and state security forces since from March through July. Only approximately 40,000 people have remained within the county after 30 percent of the population moved to Ethiopia, Uganda, and Kenya and the remaining 30 percent moved to other counties in South Sudan. Unfortunately, displaced households who are unlikely to benefit from anticipated good rains are expected to face worsening food insecurity as conflict intensifies after October during the dry season when mobility improves, increasing the risk of further conflict. Food insecurity for displaced households in Pibor County is particularly precarious because there is limited access to markets. Access to humanitarian assistance is constrained due to the large proportion of displaced households in remote areas of the county. Pibor County experienced flooding and other disruptions to the crop in 2012, and the deficits were 40 to 50 percent larger than normal, compounded by a doubling of food prices. Poor households are adopting destructive coping strategies such as the slaughter of productive female animals for meat. However, households are likely to increase reliance on wild foods through September, which could lead to early depletion in October, instead of the more typical December or January.

    Stressed but only due to humanitarian assistance (IPC Phase 2!) levels of acute food insecurity are likely to prevail through the December for an estimated 110,000 poor, returnees, and remaining IDPs in Abyei Area. About 80,000 people remain in Agok, south of Abyei town, while up to 20,000 former IDPs have returned to Abyei town and to the north of River Kiir. Food needs for displaced households in Abyei are met through 100 percent food rations and some wild foods, which are sustaining households in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) but only due to the presence of humanitarian assistance. Poor households in Abyei are no longer able to migrate seasonally for labor to agricultural and urban areas in Sudan due to conflict, leading to increased local labor supply and a resulting fall in casual labor wage rates. In addition, most displaced households have limited assets. The expectation is that more conflict and displacements are likely to increase during the dry season from October through at least December. Rising tensions are limiting access to land for cultivation. In addition, distances to markets are becoming longer. Supplies are now being replenished from non-traditional East African exporters such as Uganda and by circuitous, non-traditional routes from Sudan that seek to avoid areas of conflict. This has lengthened the supply chain and pushed up food prices due to higher fuel, other transportation, and other transaction costs. Displaced households have limited purchasing capacity. and their capacity is likely to remain constrained through at least December. They are overwhelming relying on humanitarian assistance as their prime source of food and income.

    Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is also likely to continue through September in southern Warrap, southern Unity, and northern Lake States due to impacts of heightened inter-tribal conflict in 2013 coupled with poor production during 2012 due to flooding in September and October last year. In these areas, household food stocks were depleted before the start of the lean season in June, and prices have risen to above average levels. In addition, trade and migration restrictions resulting due to conflict have reduced access to income sources, limiting purchasing capacity. However, food security is expected to improve to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from October to December as the harvested becomes available to households.


    About 2.5 million poor people in Ethiopia face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through the end of the lean season in September. Food security will begin to ease in many areas from October through December, following the start of the Meher harvest and the start of the October to December Deyr/Hageya rains.

    Although the February to May Belg production was mostly favorable in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR), overall Belg production remains likely below average due to poor production in the northeastern Belg-producing areas of Tigray, Amhara, and central Oromia. Similarly, significant improvements in livestock production have occurred in most pastoral areas, especially in the southern and southeastern pastoral areas, following a succession of favorable rains from late 2012 to the present. The northern pastoral areas in northern Afar and Sitti (formerly Shinile) Zone in northern Somali Region have had less favorable seasonal performance. Prospects for the remainder of the June to September Kiremt/Karan/Karma rains point to near normal rainfall according to the National Meteorological Agency (NMA), suggesting further improvements in household food security in Meher-producing areas. However, poor rains in the sorghum and sesame surplus-producing areas in northwestern Amhara and Tigray could cause below average production. The impacts of this would likely be concentrated in nearby areas where the poor migrate to work the sesame harvest in the Northwest, and which often receive sorghum supplies from these areas.

    Afar and northern Somali Region: Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is anticipated to persist through December for poor agropastoral households in northeastern Afar and in northern Sitti Zone in Somali Region due to the effects of recurrent droughts since 2011. In northern Somali Region, Sitti Zone had poor Gu crop production in the agropastoral areas outside of a few irrigated places. There were more successful harvests in some agropastoral areas in Afar Region, primarily along the Awash River. In the pastoral areas, the succession of droughts since 2011 have also resulted in a reduction in livestock holdings per household, constraining purchasing power poor households while staple food prices are high. However, aside from the more drought-affected areas in northern Afar and Sitti Zone that will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through December, other northern pastoral and agropastoral areas will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through at least December.

    Southern and southeastern pastoral and agropastoral areas: Most poor households are likely to remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through December. Favorable March to May Gu/Genna rains improved livestock production, and they will likely be enough to sustain grazing resources through the onset of the October to December Deyr/Hageya rains. For pastoralists, while livestock prices have risen over the past few months, cereal prices rose faster. So, overall, livestock to cereal terms of trade (ToT) have declined slightly. Exceptions to the generally Gu/Genna livestock production include Afder Zone in southern Somali Region where drier conditions prevailed and households are expected to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through at least December. Also, in agropastoral areas in southern Somali Region, flooding, primarily in the Wabi Shabelle River basin, caused poor agropastoral crop production for the Gu harvest.

    Major sweet potato-growing zones and dominantly Belg-producing southern woredas of SNNPR: The February to May Belg rains started late but picked up later in the season . Overall Belg harvests in July/August are expected to be good, despite some army worm damage to maize, moisture stress, and landslides in localized areas. Increased livestock production after the Belg rains are likely to continue through the Kiremt rainy season, sustaining livestock prices. Provisions from Productive Safety Nets Program (PSNP) have also supported food access for poor households in SNNPR during the lean season. Labor opportunities which picked up at the onset of Kiremt rains in June are expected to continue through the harvest from October to December. Stressed (IPC Phase 2) is expected to persist through at least December in the most areas.

    Eastern Marginal Meher-producing areas: Crisis (IPC Phase 3) are expected to continue through September in northeastern Amhara and Tigray Regions. The Belg crops wilted in the lowlands of East and West Hararghe in Oromia, and the few that were planted performed poorly in North and South Wollo Zones in Amhara where Belg crop production is likely to be no more than 10 percent of the five-year average. Good Kiremt rains so far in many areas except in the lowlands of Tigray and Amhara point to likely improvements in household food supply during the October to December harvest. While livestock production is improving in many areas, fodder is in short supply in northeastern Amhara and Tigray, following a poor start to the Kiremt rains, compromising livestock production prospects and access to milk and livestock products. A 45 percent rise in Therapeutic Feeding Program (TFP) admissions of acutely malnourished children in South Wollo Zone was reported from April to May. However, food security is anticipated to improve to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) following increased household food supply from harvests and increased incomes from agricultural labor. The major exception will be the Belg-dominant areas in South Wollo Zone that will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).


    Stressed (IPC Phase 2) is expected to be sustained through December in the bimodal southeastern and coastal marginal agricultural areas and the southern, northern, northeastern, and northwestern pastoral areas. Although the March to May long rains are the secondary season in the southeastern lowlands, mediocre performance of the main October to December short rains season in 2012 has exacerbated reduced household food stocks to below normal. However, food prices have declined during the long rains harvest in this area as a result of the local harvest of short-cycle beans, pigeon peas, sorghum, millet and green grams and cross-border imports of maize, primarily from Tanzania. Subsequently, poor households in the lowlands will be able to access minimally adequate food through December, but they will have insufficient income left to finance non-food expenditures. However, poor households in southern and southeastern parts of Kitui County, situated in the southeastern lowlands, may be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). Although cereal prices are declining with ongoing long rains harvests across Kenya, the reduction is insufficient to compensate for substantial output losses in three consecutive below average seasons of production in southern Kitui County, coupled with an expected below average level of labor opportunities from October through December. In addition, poor households in the Kitui lowlands have little or no livestock holdings, lack consistent alternative income sources, and are characterized by constrained purchasing capacity.

    Food insecurity remains high among pastoral households in the Northeast, especially Mandera County, following a combination of poor livestock production and recent inter-clan conflict and associated displacement. Early migration of pastoralists started in June instead of July in the northern and eastern pastoral livelihood zones after early depletion of rangeland resources in some areas. Early migration will limit access to milk and other livestock products for sedentary household members through November. Although milk prices have declined and livestock prices are well above their five-year averages, livestock migration may be limited by conflict. Poor households in Mandera County are currently the worst-affected because of disrupted production, coupled with limited access to humanitarian assistance.

    Minimal (IPC Phase 1) is likely to prevail among farm households in predominantly unimodal high-potential mixed farming areas in central, western, and southwestern Kenya and in the Rift Valley highlands. Cereal prices are expected to decline significantly in the highlands and across the country because up to 60 percent of annual national maize output will be harvested from October through December.


    The Gu 2013 rains ended a month earlier than normal in most parts of the country in mid-May instead of in June. The overall Gu performance was favorable, but there were large variations in terms of the amount of rain received and its temporal distribution in agricultural and pastoral areas of the South, parts of the Northwest, and the Hawd in the central regions. Average to good rains between late March and April replenished water sources in pastoral and agropastoral areas and supported pasture development. However, the July to September Hagaa dry season appears to have arrived earlier than usual in June with unusually strong, dry winds were reported across the country except for the coastal areas of Lower Shabelle and Lower Juba Regions. In those areas in late May and early June, light showers fell. Exceptions to the general climactic trend were found in well below average rainfall in Bari Region, Coastal Deeh Pastoral livelihood zone in the central regions, and the Shabelles. Rainfall totals have also been below average in some parts of Sanag and the central regions.

    Food security in agropastoral areas of Hiran will likely deteriorate, especially during the October to November lean season due to the negative impact of the long dry spell in May and the early cessation of the Gu rains, which will likely reduce crop production. Due to poor pasture and water availability and expected low camel calving between June and July, Sool Plateau and Dharoor Valley Pastoral livelihood zones in Bari as well as the Coastal Deeh Pastoral livelihood zone in both the central regions and Bari will likely face poor milk availability and access from July to September. In general, pastoral areas will likely see improved food security as the number of milking animals increases during the October to December Deyr rainy season. However, as stocks from the Gu harvest lessen, agropastoral and riverine households will see a decline in food security during the October to November lean season, but improvements will start with the green Deyr harvest in December.


    Minimal (IPC Phase 1) is expected in most areas of Uganda through December with the exception of unimodal Karamoja region. Rainfall since March has been distributed poorly in both bimodal and unimodal areas of the country, especially in the southwestern, northeastern, and eastern bimodal areas of the country. An average first season harvest is projected in bimodal areas. Household food supply has increased with the start of the harvest, and prices have declined significantly in bimodal areas.

    Poor households in Karamoja are likely to be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through December. Under five mortality figures suggest that poor households may be consuming less food in Kotido, Moroto, Kaabong, and Napak Districts through the peak of the lean season in September. The lean season is likely to be extended by two months in those districts. Even following a well below average harvest in October/November that may be 30 to 50 percent below normal, poor households are likely to have exhausted their food stocks by December instead of February, starting the next lean season earlier. Poor households in parts of Karamoja have low asset levels due to a succession of erratic rains, and they are increasingly adopting coping strategies including accelerated sales of livestock, charcoal burning, selling firewood, borrowing food, and seeking labor in neighboring countries including Kenya and South Sudan. Humanitarian assistance is reaching 155,000 chronically food insecure people and 400,000 poor people through cash-for-work programs Improved household food supply from October through December in Karamoja is expected to reduce acute food insecurity for poor households but for a short duration due to the small size fo the harvest. Low wage rates for casual labor have characterized most of 2013 due to a poor availability of labor opportunities, resulting from an extended lean season and poor production. In addition, up to half of poor households in Karamoja no longer own livestock, so they will not benefit from improved livestock production and remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through December.


    Most areas of Rwanda are likely to remain Minimal (IPC Phase 1) through December following the season ‘B’ harvests in June and July. However, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) is likely for 258,000 poor people in Eastern Semi-Arid Agropastoral and the Eastern Congo Nile Subsistence Farming livelihood zones from October through December. The early end to the season ‘B’ rainy season coupled with crop damage from excess rains in June in the Eastern Congo Nile Highland Subsistence Farming livelihood zone has reduced yields. Reduced harvests will constrain food access for poor, vulnerable farm households in the two livelihood zones during the October to early December lean season. Casual labor and livestock sales have provided some income, and bean prices have declined. However, poor households are likely to become market-dependent one month early in August, and bean prices are expected to increase from August through December. Poor households in the two zones are likely to be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from October to December, and will compensate for constrained purchasing capacity by adopting atypical coping strategies such as sales of additional small stock, temporary migration of labor, and consumption of less preferred foods. An estimated 30,000 Rwandan refugees residing in neighboring countries are expected to return before December. The returnees could exacerbate food insecurity for poor households as competition for casual labor could push down wage rates while food prices increase due to higher demand.


    An estimated 117,000 poor people are expected to remain at Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through September in the Northwest Pastoral, Central, and Southeastern Pastoral Border and Roadside livelihood zones. An additional 60,000 poor people residing in urban centers are at Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3). Results from nutrition assessments conducted by Djibouti’s food security cluster revealed global acute malnutrition (GAM) rates greater than 15 percent in most regions in May even before the onset of the lean season. Food insecurity is anticipated to remain elevated in southeastern pastoral livelihood zones through December, following a succession of poor seasons including the March to May Diraac/Sugum rains in 2012 and October to February Heys/Dadaa rains in 2012/2013. In addition, a shrinking number of labor opportunities due to poor livestock production and shrinking number of business activities during Ramadan from mid-July to mid-August, along with only small quantities of humanitarian assistance, and limited labor opportunities as employers relocated out of Djibouti for the summer holiday are all expected to sustain Crisis (IPC Phase 3) for poor households through December. However, impacts of the ongoing July to September Karan/Karma rains could reduce food insecurity to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) for poor pastoral households in the Northwest from October through December. Increased availability of labor opportunities in urban centers after the summer holiday ends in August is likely to increase household income for poor urban households especially in Balbala in Djibouti City and move households from Crisis (IPC Phase 3) to Stressed (IPC Phase 2).


    Most households in Burundi are expected to face Minimal (IPC Phase 1) from September through at least December. Acute food insecurity has declined following an average season ‘B’ harvest in June, in addition to the minor Season ‘C’ harvest anticipated from September through December. Food insecurity has also declined significantly even in the northwestern cropping areas that were impacted adversely by plant diseases and excessive rainfall. However, May to June rainfall levels were 20 to 50 below normal in the agropastoral Imbo Plains, and this will reduce milk production and income levels through September. While bean and cassava prices have declined seasonally, they remained between 16 and 45 percent above their five-year averages in July. Above average prices could be attributed in part to the reimposition of a 19 percent food tax. The rising prices especially access the more market-dependent areas such as in the Dépressions de l'Est and Plateaux Humides livelihood zones. Burundi was also home to 166,994 asylum seekers, refugees, returnees, and IDPs as of June according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Many of the displaced or returnees are dependent on humanitarian assistance, and overall levels of humanitarian assistance are declining. The returnees and the displaced will likely to create competition for the few available labor opportunities and other income sources, which could cause earlier than expected deterioration in household food insecurity.


    Most households in Tanzania are anticipated to remain at Minimal (IPC Phase 1) from July through at least December. Improved household food supply from the Msimu harvest from May to July has moved the central, marginal areas and disease-affected banana and cassava-growing areas of Kagera Region from Stressed (IPC Phase 2) to Minimal (IPC Phase 1), following the increased availability of maize, rice, sweet potatoes, cassava, yams, and a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Increased income from additional labor opportunities for the Masika harvest in July in bimodal areas has also enhanced the purchasing capacity of poor households. Livestock productivity has improved significantly in both bimodal and unimodal areas, and it is anticipated to improve further from September through December, following the onset of the Vuli rains in September and Msimu rains in November. However, the favorable outlook through December could change markedly if heightened demand for maize exports to Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and Kenya results in substantially larger grain outflows than usual. The Government’s National Food Reserve Agency has planned the purchase of 235,000 metric tons (MT) of maize and 15,000 MT of sorghum. Large purchases like this could also increase the upward pressure on staple grain prices and compromise purchasing capacity of poor households in the central, marginal areas, in particular.

    Events that Might Change the Outlook



    Impact on food security outcomes

    Sudan, South Sudan, and Meher-producing areas in Ethiopia

    A poor end of the June to September rains

    Limited agricultural production, further increases in food prices, and reduction in labor opportunities would likely be the result. A decline in livestock body conditions and productivity would also lead to constrained purchasing capacity and substantial deterioration in food security outcomes.

    Southern states in Sudan, northern South Sudan, and southern and central Somalia

    Conflict and civil insecurity declines in key areas of conflict

    Increased access to markets, trade, humanitarian assistance, cropping land, labor opportunities, and grazing resources would lead to improvements in food security outcomes.


    Sudan and South Sudan

    Implementation Matrix is not suspended

    Stabilization of macroeconomic indicators, including a reduction in inflation, fuel, food, and non-food prices, and possibly a slight appreciation in exchange rates of key trading currencies. Food security outcomes would improve significantly outside of areas of conflict.

    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 eight months. Learn more here.

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