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Acute food insecurity likely to decline.

  • Food Security Outlook
  • East Africa
  • November 2012 - April 2013
Acute food insecurity likely to decline.

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  • Key Messages
  • Regional Overview
  • Areas of Concern
  • Events that Might Change the Outlook
  • Key Messages
    • October to March 2013 is anticipated to have a significant reduction in the food insecure population in East Africa from the exceptionally high level of acute food insecurity during the peak of the drought crisis in August 2011. An estimated 14.5 million people in Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, and Rwanda, down from 16 million in September 2012, are in the Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) phases of acute food insecurity. 

    • Generally favorable agroclimactic conditions have improved production, labor, and security in Sudan, South Sudan, Djibouti, and parts of Somalia and Ethiopia. Poor households are expected to soon experience significant improvements in food security outcomes as a result. 

    • While significant improvements in food security are anticipated through March 2013, poor households live in high risk environments. Possible unexpected shocks may increase acute food insecurity, including increased conflict, macroeconomic changes, dramatic increases or volatility in food and non-food prices, unpredictable humanitarian assistance flows, and sudden flooding, which often leads to asset losses and the proliferation of vector- and water-borne diseases. 


    Regional Overview

    The food insecure population has declined in the eastern Africa region to under 15 million. It is down from 16 million in August, the result of improved access to food for poor households, declining food prices, improved labor opportunities, and the reduced impacts of conflict. An estimated 14.6 million people in Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, Rwanda, Burundi, and Uganda are at the Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels of food insecurity. It is anticipated that numbers could decline further between October and March or shift to lower food insecurity classifications because both livestock and crop output are anticipated to increase significantly. This assumes that current, generally favorable agroclimatic conditions continue. However, acute food insecurity remains problematic, and it is unlikely to be reversed decisively by one or two good seasons. Continuing impacts of conflict, low household carryover stocks, higher than average food and non-food prices in some critical markets, reduced access to labor opportunities and markets, displacement and production damage resulting from flooding, and limited humanitarian assistance have all combined to sustain high levels of food insecurity in areas of Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Djibouti, in particular.

    The just concluded June to September rains are the principal rains in the northern parts of the region including western and central Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, northern Somalia, Djibouti, and Eritrea. The performance of the June to September rains was generally normal to above normal in most areas (Figure 3). However, the rains were heavier-than-normal in several areas causing severe flooding in Sudan in Sinar, in Gadaref, in North, Central, and West Dafur, in White Nile, in Blue Nile, in South Kordofan, and in Khartoum. These floods were mostly earlier in the season in June and July. In Khartoum, 240,000 persons were affected by the flooding. In several counties of South Sudan in the states of Unity, Upper Nile, Jonglei, Northern Bahr El Ghazal, Warrap, and Lakes, 260,000 people were displaced. While floods have destroyed crops and infrastructure and constrained access to markets, the overall impacts of the rains have been beneficial to crop and livestock production.

    The October to December rains, called the short rains or the Deyr/Hageya, are important in the eastern sector of the region, accounting for 40 to 60 percent of annual totals in parts of southern and central Somalia, southern and southeastern Ethiopia, and pastoral and marginal agricultural areas of eastern Kenya (Figure 4). While the rains have started more or less on time in many areas, flooding occurred in western Uganda, South Sudan, and central Rwanda in areas that do not typically receive these rains.

    Following poor production seasons in 2011 and early 2012, food supply has improved significantly with harvests in the cropping areas of Sudan, South Sudan, and in Oromia, Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR), eastern Tigray, and Amhara in Ethiopia, and the long rains harvesting areas in Kenya. However, the harvest is unlikely to compensate adequately for significant earlier losses in the eastern marginal cropping areas of Amhara and Oromia, the northeastern highlands, and the agropastoral areas of northern Somali and Afar in Ethiopia. In addition, good agroclimatic conditions have not, in all instances, translated into good output because of flooding along the flood plains of Sudan and South Sudan, reduced cropped areas as a result of conflict in parts of southern Somalia, Sudan, and South Sudan, and pest damage in the agropastoral areas of southern Somalia. Consequently, the seasonal decline in food prices in many parts of Sudan and South Sudan will likely be moderated, occurring for a shorter period, before prices begin to rise again.

    Assumptions

    • The Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook suggests normal to above normal October to December rains in the eastern sector of the region (Figure 5).
    • Average to above average crop harvests are anticipated in the cropping areas of Sudan, South Sudan, southern and central cropping areas of Somalia outside the riverine zones, the southeastern and coastal lowlands of Kenya, and Ethiopia during the October to March harvesting periods.
    • The decline in food prices is anticipated to continue through most of the outlook period in most markets in Sudan, South Sudan, southern and southeastern agropastoral areas of Ethiopia, and most of Kenya. However, cereal prices are anticipated to increase in Somalia after October due to early depletion of the poor August and September Gu harvest.
    • Improvements in livestock production, including increased milk output, kidding, lambing, and calving, are anticipated through the outlook period in the agropastoral and pastoral areas of Sudan, South Sudan, southern and southeastern Ethiopia, and northern, eastern, and northeastern Kenya.
    • Increased availability of labor opportunities arising from improved agricultural production is expected in most areas of Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, and Kenya with exceptions in the conflict epicenters in southern Somalia, Jonglei State and the northern border areas in South Sudan, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North-(SPLM-N) held areas of Sudan, and parts of Darfur in Sudan.
    • Heightened conflict is anticipated in Somalia, particularly in Gedo, Bakol, the Juba Valley, and Lower and Middle Shabelle due to an upsurge in militia activity following recent security operations by the Africa Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). Increased conflict could result in further population displacements and constrained access to humanitarian assistance, markets, and production inputs.
    • The peace agreements signed between Sudan and South Sudan are expected to ease the conflict and allow increased access to humanitarian assistance, trade, labor opportunities, and normal livestock migration routes in areas of conflict.
    • Increased food supply, increased oil revenues and improved availability of labor opportunities will lead to a decline in the currently high inflation rates and food prices in Sudan and South Sudan (Figure 8).
    • Displacements and production losses are anticipated to occur in flooded and flood-prone areas in Sudan, in Jonglei, Unity, Warrap, Northern Bahr El Ghazal, and Upper Nile States in South Sudan, in the riverine areas of southern Somalia, and in the flood plains in the coastal lowlands of Kenya.
    • Continuation of rainfall beyond normal seasonal trends in the cropping areas of Sudan and South Sudan is likely to cause a delay in crop harvests and pre- and post-harvest losses where rains are especially excessive.
    • Shortages of seeds during the planting in southern and central cropping areas of Somalia in September and October and tuber cuttings in the sweet-potato dependent areas of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR) of Ethiopia from November to February could cause significant declines in production in spite of generally favorable agroclimatic conditions.
    • Major safety net programs such as the Productive Safety Nets Program (PSNP) will continue for 6.89 million people in central and northern Ethiopia from January through July 2013 and both remittances and humanitarian assistance will support close to 60 percent of Djibouti’s population.

    An influx of refugees is expected to continue from South Sudan into Benishangul-Gumuz and Gambela Regions of Ethiopia, from southern and central Somalia into Kenya and Ethiopia, from South Kordofan in Sudan to Unity State in South Sudan, and internally within Somalia and from border areas in northern South Sudan into Jonglei State in South Sudan. The large number of displaced persons and refugees will exert pressure on household food availability, food prices, and grazing resources both among refugees and displaced persons and among the host population.


    Areas of Concern

    Sudan

    Food security is expected to improve throughout the outlook period from October 2012 to March 2013, in most of the key areas of concern in Sudan—South Kordofan, Blue Nile, the States of Darfur, Kassala, Red Sea, White Nile, and North Kordofan. The number of food insecure had already declined from around 4.6 million in August to between 3.3 and 3.5 million in October. Substantial improvements are attributed primarily to the favorable July to September rainy season. Cereal production, primarily of sorghum and millet, is estimated to be 15 percent higher than the five-year average this year according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). In addition, the security situation between Sudan and South Sudan and Darfur (except North Darfur) has improved. Up to half of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Darfur now have access to small pieces of cultivatable land, which is up to 10 percent more than the number that had access during the last season. Food prices are lower following the start of the harvest which is on-going. Livestock productivity and the availability of labor opportunities increased. These improving factors have all increased household food security. 

    Food security is expected to be at Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels from October 2012 through March 2013 for the 150 to 200 thousand IDPs in areas controlled by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) in South Kordofan. This area was in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) through September 2012, but a wide range of improved conditions have increased access to food and income. Among these are the reduction in food prices (Figure 9) coinciding with the beginning of the harvest, improved availability of labor opportunities due to the easing of tensions, increased farm and non-farm livelihood activities such as petty trading, improved availability of wild foods, and income from cash crops. An estimated 160 to 180 thousand IDPs in Government of Sudan-(GoS) controlled areas have better access to labor opportunities and markets. They have had better agricultural production, and these households will remain at the Stressed (IPC Phase 2) phase from October to March 2013. Similarly, in Blue Nile State, an estimated 50 to 100 thousand IDPs in SPLM-N-controlled areas and around 100 thousand IDPs in GoS-controlled areas will be at Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels of food insecurity from October to March 2013. One reason for the improvement in outcomes in Blue Nile over the past year is that agricultural wage labor rates for activities such as weeding have doubled from SDG 40 in 2011 to SDG 80 to 90 in 2012 and the trend is similar in most parts of Sudan. 

    Unlike the relatively peaceful conditions in West Darfur, continued insecurity in North Darfur is mitigating improvements in food security that would otherwise result from the October to January harvests and livestock production. Civil insecurity in North Darfur is raising concerns. The areas worst-affected include East Jebel Marra at the Junction of North and South Darfur States, and Kuttum, Fatabarno, Mellt, Kebkaibya, Dar Al Salam, and Hashaba in North Darfur State. Food insecurity will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels in many of these conflict-affected areas through at least March 2013. However, food security for an estimated 1.8 million IDPs in camps across Darfur is anticipated to improve gradually from the Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels that prevailed in September to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels of food security between October and March 2013. 

    Similarly, in the country’s key chronically food insecure areas in Kassala, Red Sea, White Nile, and North Kordofan States, areas that in September were in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) are expected to improve to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels of food insecurity for October 2012 to March 2013. In these areas, an estimated one million chronically food insecure people in Sudan will have better conditions this year due to increasing livestock production and the reduction in food prices following the October to January harvests. However, they will continue to have limited livelihood options to deal with volatile or high food prices.

    South Sudan

    In South Sudan, following a favorable rainy season and harvest that started in early October, substantial improvements in food security have occurred in Western, Central, and Eastern Equatoria States. In August and September, 260,000 flood-affected displaced people in Jonglei, Unity, Warrap, Northern Bahr El Ghazal, and Upper Nile have had more moderate improvements in food security. Further displacements in October resulting from conflict have also occurred Unity State, the Abyei Area, and Pibor County in Jonglei State. Food security in the western flood plains in North Bahr El Ghazal, Warrap, and Unity States was affected by floods in August and September and conflict in October. However, improved food supply after the start of the harvest in October led to a reduction in food prices, which still remain at above average levels. For example, one malwa (approximately three kilograms (kg)) of sorghum was SSP 19 in Bentiu in September, which is 17 percent lower than in August but 76 percent higher than September last year. However, increased food supply and improved access to fish is expected to mean these areas will improve from the Crisis (ICP Phase 3) level to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) level from October through March. 

    Food security in the still disputed and conflict-affected Abyei Area will deteriorate from the Stressed (IPC Phase 2) level in December to the Crisis (IPC Phase 3) level by March as returning households have limited income-earning opportunities, low production, and face higher than average food prices. These factors mean households in Abyei will continue to face substantial food consumption gaps from January to March 2013. 

    The eastern flood plains in Jonglei, Upper Nile, and Unity States are housing 175,000 refugees. Although humanitarian assistance is reaching many refugees, humanitarian access to Pariang and Mabian Counties is constrained by flooding. Malnutrition levels are above the World Health Organization’s (WHO) emergency threshold. An estimated 125,000 people have been displaced by floods in August and September, limiting their livelihood activities this year in Pariang and Mabian Counties, and 240,000 are displaced across the entire country. Nevertheless, food security is expected to improve during the October to January harvest. During this time, there will also be improved milk and fish availability for the refugees who are expected to be in the Stressed (IPC Phase 2) phase through December, but as food availability becomes more constrained, refugees’ food security will deteriorate to the Crisis (IPC Phase 3) phase from January to at least March 2013. Although other households will have Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity up to December because of availability of milk and fish and the crop harvests, food stocks will quickly deplete. Livestock will migrate to dry season grazing areas, and food prices will seasonally increase from January onward. These factors will lead to a deterioration of food security to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels through March. 

    The pastoral livelihood zone in Jonglei, particularly in Pibor County, is faced with a combination of growing conflict following an upsurge in armed militia groups, displacements from flooding, and constrained access to humanitarian assistance and markets. Conflict has displaced 9,000 people and is expected to worsen as the December to April dry season will encourage increased militia movements. Livelihood options are limited in the conflict-affected areas, which are anticipated to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) from October to March.

    Somalia

    As of August, an estimated 2.12 million people were classified in the Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4) levels of food insecurity. Continuing areas of concern include the agropastoral and cropping areas in southern and central Somalia in Gedo, Bakol, Lower and Middle Juba, Bay, and Lower and Middle Shabelle. Following a combination of poor March to June Gu rains, conflict, and flooding in the Shabelle and Juba Rivers’ flood plains, many areas still have very high levels of food insecurity. Pastoral areas are improving following enough of the March to June Gu rains to replenish pasture, browse, and watering points. However, the northwestern Guban pastoral livelihood zone and the northeastern and central Coastal Deeh livelihood zone both remain problematic due to a succession of poor seasons. Critical to Very Critical nutritional situations, as defined by the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit Somalia (FSNAU) nutrition situation categorization framework, are also being reported in Guban pastoral and the Coastal Deeh livelihood zones as well as in the central and southern agropastoral areas in Bay, Gedo, and Lower and Middle Shabelle Regions. 

    The agropastoral areas of southern Somalia including in Gedo and Lower and Middle Juba Regions have continued to cope with high levels of conflict. The March to June Gu rains started late and were below average, and the July to August Hagaa rains in the coastal plains barely came at all. Poor production from the Gu season (Figure6) has left households market dependent while the conflict has restrained access to humanitarian assistance, markets, labor opportunities, and access to arable land. October food prices were rising atypically by up to 50 percent compared to last year. FSNAU and partners’ nutrition surveys and other data estimate the global acute malnutrition (GAM) rates of up to 25.1 percent and severe acute malnutrition (SAM) levels of 5.8 percent, defined as Very Critical in the FSNAU nutrition situation categorization framework. However, high livestock conceptions during the 2011 October to December Deyr season increased overall stock levels following calving, kidding, and lambing of livestock. Food security for livestock-dependent agropastoralists in southern Somalia’s Gedo Region is anticipated to improve to the Stressed (IPC Phase 2) level from November through at least March 2013. However, crop-dependent agropastoralists in Lower and Middle Juba Regions are likely to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through December because of losses from flooding coupled with the impacts of conflict, limiting access to trade and labor opportunities. Nevertheless, improved household food supply from the January to February Deyr harvest will cause an improvement in household food security for poor households to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) between January and March. The agropastoral areas in the southern regions of Bay and Bakol faced poor March to June Gu rains, and agropastoralists had planted late hoping for July to August Hagaa rains. These rains never materialized. Thus, for both the main season and for the off-season, few crops were harvested in September. Maize and sorghum prices had risen by up to 50 percent in August as compared to six months ago, though prices remained significantly lower than last year. In these areas, casual labor constitutes up to half of household cash income, and wage rates have declined between 20 and 30 percent over the same period. Insecurity is also prevalent in Bay and Bakol, but there has been less recent conflict than in areas farther south. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels of food insecurity are expected to persist through December. After crop and livestock production from the October to December Deyr rains, households will improve to the Stressed (IPC Phase 2) level from January to March.

    Although food security has improved in the irrigated areas of Lower Shabelle and Middle Juba, poor households situated in the southern, riverine areas of Lower and Middle Juba, Gedo, Lower and Middle Shabelle, and Hiran are facing a higher level of food insecurity. The Gu rains started late, and harvesting was delayed, followed by poor Hagaa rains in July and August which failed to improve the later, off-season harvest. Conflict has disrupted production activities as the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has moved in to control larger parts of southern and central Somalia once under control of Al Shabaab or other armed groups. The conflict has limited market access and humanitarian interventions. Labor opportunities have been reduced significantly compared to a normal year as very little harvest labor was available, so market-dependent, poor households are having difficulties paying down debts causing a decline in access to food loans. Nutrition assessments conducted by FSNAU and partners indicate that GAM rates are 34.6 and SAM rates 11.8 percent in the southern Juba riverine livelihood zone while GAM rates are 22.5 and SAM rates 6.1 percent in the Juba pump irrigation livelihood zone. Food insecurity for poor households is expected to remain at the Crisis (IPC Phase 3) level through the end of March when the riverine areas and flooded areas will start harvesting the late-planted Deyr crops. 

    Near average March to June Gu and the July to September Karan rains led to regeneration of pasture and browse and recharged water sources. These have increased livestock production and allowed for healthy conceptions and birthing. Despite improvements in many areas, areas that do not receive these rains or have had poor rains in the Coastal Deeh livelihood zone in the central and northeastern regions and in the northwestern Guban pastoral livelihood zone, and in the central agropastoral areas, also known as the cowpea belt, face continued high levels of food insecurity. The pastoralists experienced poor rains through 2012, and livestock holdings remain low after losses and distress sales during the 2011 drought. The predominantly pastoral households have limited alternative sources of income and limited humanitarian support. Poor households are facing large consumption gaps and are likely to remain in the Crisis (IPC Phase 3) phase through December, improving to the Stressed (IPC Phase 2) phase from January to March following improved livestock conditions from the December to February Hays rains in Guban pastoral livelihood zone and after the October to December Deyr rains in the central agropastoral livelihood zone and Coastal Deeh.

    Ethiopia

    An estimated 3.7 million people in Ethiopia are classified in the Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) phases of food insecurity. Areas of most concern include the southeastern pastoral and agropastoral areas, major sweet potato-growing zones and the predominantly Belg-producing southern woredas of SNNPR, the eastern marginal Meher-producing areas, Afar, and northern Somali region. Nevertheless, an average to above average Meher harvest is anticipated in the major growing areas in the West, leading to a seasonal decline in food prices expected to last until January. The decline in food prices will be moderated by a poor Belg harvest that was 45 percent below production in 2008 and 26 percent below the five-year average. However, the October to December Deyr/Hageya rains are also improving availability of pasture, water, and browse for pastoralists outside of areas of conflict. 

    Although livestock production and prices have improved substantially for poor households in the southeastern pastoral and agropastoral areas in Somali Region and southern Oromia following increased lambing and kidding, livestock holdings are low and are unable to fully support households. The pastoral livelihood zones have experienced extended drought, and herds have not yet recovered from past reductions in size. The persistence of conflict, poor crop production in agropastoral areas, and localized flooding have been shocks that have increased distress sales and consumption of livestock. While these sales and consumption are meeting some immediate consumption needs, they compromise future food security. Food insecurity for poor households is anticipated to be in the Stressed (IPC Phase 2) phase through December, but deteriorate to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) starting in the dry January to March period in the Shabelle (formerly Gode) Zone due to flooding and in Liben and Borena Zones due to conflict. Food security outcomes will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in Dollo Ado from October to March as a result of the large and growing refugee populations who are unable to engage in productive activities for themselves while increasing demand in markets and competing with the host population for natural resources.

    Poor households in the sweet potato-growing zones and dominantly Belg-producing southern woredas of SNNPR experienced significant crop losses from the Belg harvest which was also delayed by the late onset. The losses are substantial because the Belg cereal harvest accounts for 70 to 100 percent of annual production in the Belg-dependant southern, special woredas of SNNPR. Although the Kiremt rains were good, planting was limited by the delayed Belg harvest. Belg crops remained on some land into August and September, preventing it from being replanted with Meher crops at that time. Food insecurity is anticipated to be at the Stressed (IPC Phase 2) level through December. Improvements would result from the increased food supply. However, prices of teff, wheat, maize, barley, pulses, and tubers are rising, and they are expected to rise even further between January and March. Shortages of sweet potato cuttings and seeds for the upcoming Belg season coupled with heightened household debts and limited labor opportunities are likely to compromise food security. Poor households are projected to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) from January through March. 

    Poor households in the eastern, marginal Meher-producing areas are anticipated to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) from October through at least March. Poor household food security is attributed to a succession of poor harvests including the 2012 Belg, high food prices, and crop damage, particularly in lowland woredas of East and West Hararghe, eastern North and South Wollo, most of Oromia Zone in Amhara Region, and most of Eastern and Southern Tigray. Farm households are market-dependent, but their purchasing power has been eroded by a succession of poor seasons coupled with low wage rates and poor access to casual, agricultural labor. Other areas will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from October to March, due to near normal production. However, small land holdings mean that on-farm production, even in a year with average or above average production, can only meet a small portion of a household’s food needs.

    Food insecurity for poor households in the Karma/Karan-dependent pastoral areas of Afar and northern Somalia are anticipated to improve to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) between October and March. Although the June to September Karma/Karan rains increased availability of pasture, browse, and water, a succession of poor seasons means that pastoralists have not fully recovered from past losses. Herd sizes remain very low. However, improved food supply from the Meher-producing areas will ensure that minimal consumption needs are met. Nevertheless, the expected rise in food prices and deterioration in the value of livestock as the October to March lean season intensifies will suppress household purchasing power. Severe water shortages were not abated by the June to September Karma/Karan rains. Over the coming months, a significant proportion of household income will be spent on water purchases, compromising income available to meet food needs. Subsequently, most of the poor households will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) from October to March.

    Kenya

    While about 2.1 million people in Kenya are faced with Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels of food insecurity, primarily in the southeastern and coastal marginal agricultural areas and the eastern and northeastern pastoral areas, significant improvements are anticipated between October and March. About 10 percent of the food insecure population is in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). The rest are Stressed (IPC Phase 2). Both pastoral and marginal agricultural farm households are slowly recovering from a poor March to May 2012 long rains season, but some pastoral areas received above average rains during the October to December 2011 short rains season. Nevertheless, favorable 2012 October to December short rains have already causing significant improvements in pasture, browse, and water availability. Most pastoralists have returned to their wet-season grazing areas. Considerable calving, kidding, and lambing is anticipated between October and March. Livestock prices remain above their respective five-year averages, even after declining seasonally during the August to September lean season. Terms of trade are improving markedly as cereal prices begin to fall during the peak harvesting period in the surplus-producing areas. Milk availability and increased purchasing power are expected to move poor households in the eastern and northeastern pastoral areas to the Stressed (IPC Phase 2) level from October to at least March. However, heightened insecurity in Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, and Tana River Districts could negate expected improvements, if insecurity reduces access by humanitarian organizations and traders. 

    Farm households in the southeastern and coastal marginal, agricultural lowlands are also beginning to experience some improvements with the mostly timely onset of the 2012 short rains season in October. While substantial improvements are anticipated for poor households, since the short rains season contributes up to 70 percent to annual food needs in these areas, the season has yet been fully established in all areas as a long dry spell occurred in late October and early November. However, a significant national cereal deficit of over 300,000 metric tons (MT) for the July 2012 to June 2013 marketing year is likely to moderate the decline in maize prices even with an increase in cross-border imports. However, food security for most households is anticipated to improve to the Stressed (IPC Phase 2) level from January as local food prices decline between January and March following the long rains maize harvest in western Kenya. Labor opportunities for farm and off-farm activities are increasing with the start of the short rains in October, and livestock productivity and prices are well above average levels. They will likely increase even further as the higher demand for the Christmas and New Year holidays approach. 

    Djibouti

    An estimated 70,000 poor people are at the Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels of food insecurity in the northwestern and southeastern pastoral border livelihood zones in Djibouti. In addition, there is a substantial population of poor, urban households. Overwhelming dependence on relief food underlines intractable chronic food insecurity among poor households across Djibouti. Households in northwest pastoral livelihood zone are expected to remain in the Stressed (IPC Phase 2) level of acute food insecurity as livestock production has improved following the generally favorable June to September Karan/Karma rains. This production provides food in addition to food assistance, which is received by close to 60 percent of the population. However, the concentration of livestock in areas where substantial water has collected could lead to an accelerated depletion of grazing resources and compromise livestock productivity. 

    Food security is anticipated to remain at the Crisis (IPC Phase 3) level in southeastern pastoral border livelihood zone neighboring northwestern Somalia, throughout the October to March period. Even with generally good Karan/Karma rains and the anticipation of good October to March Hays/Dadaa rains, households are unable to meet minimum food needs. Despite the good season, households are depleting livelihood assets and adopting unsustainable coping strategies. 

    Households in this zone also have poor access to urban markets, unlike in northwest pastoral livelihood zone. However, households in the central pastoral highland livelihood zone and in southeast pastoral roadside sub-livelihood zone, neighboring northeastern Ethiopia, are likely to remain at Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels from October to March due to better livestock productivity and greater access to other income-earning opportunities such as petty trading, remittances, and migratory labor. 

    Close to half of the population in Djibouti City is unemployed according to the National Statistical Service. Most food commodities are imported, and prices are prohibitive for the majority of the population that has limited purchasing power. Poor urban households are expected to remain at Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels of acute food insecurity until December. Then they will improve to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels from January to March as household expenditures on non-food items such as school fees, water, medical care, and fuel seasonally decline.

    Rwanda

    Food insecurity is likely to remain at the Stressed (IPC Phase 2) level in Rwanda’s eastern Congo-Nile highland subsistence farming and western Congo-Nile Crest tea livelihood zones, through December, as poor households have already been depleted food stocks from the below average Season ‘B’, harvested in June and July. Since September wage rates fell as more households seek casual labor opportunities during the October to November lean season, increasing the supply of labor without increasing demand for labor. During the October to November lean season, asset stripping is expected to precipitate further deterioration in food security for poor households. Labor opportunities are limited, so casual labor wage rates are low. Purchasing capacities are likely to erode progressively through the end of December. However, significant improvements are anticipated from January through March, following the harvest of Season ‘A’ crops and improved livestock productivity from the September to December short rainy season, resulting in increased food security to the Stressed (IPC Phase 2) level. Other areas of the country will remain in the Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity phase.

    Uganda

    Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity is anticipated in Uganda between October and March because of generally favorable output from good rains thoughout the past year. Exceptions are found among poor households in the agropastoral areas of Karamoja. While poor households will have minimally adequate food consumption from October to March, non-food expenditures will be reduced in order to meet food needs. Below average crop production among poor households will likely lead to an early depletion of food stocks and increasing consumption of wild foods starting in November. In addition, rapid sale of the recently harvested output will cause households to be more vulnerable when household stocks deplete as food prices rise across the country due to high demand for exports to Kenya, South Sudan, Rwanda, and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Sales of charcoal, wooden poles, and grass will also increase from November through at least March as poor households seek to meet growing needs for market purchases of food. The agropastoral areas regularly report high levels of global acute malnutrition (GAM) of over 10 percent among children under the age of five. Acute food insecurity for poor households is anticipated to deteriorate to the Stressed (IPC Phase 2) level between January and March as access to food and livestock production becomes increasingly constrained during the October to March dry season and the April to July lean season.


    Events that Might Change the Outlook

    Area

    Event

    Impact on food security outcomes

    Northeastern Somalia, Djibouti

    Poor October to March Hays/Dadaa rains

    Food insecurity could deepen for poor households to the high levels that prevailed prior to September, following two failures of the primary rainy season

    Southern Sudan, northern South Sudan, eastern Kenya, southern and central Somalia

    Decreased conflict and civil insecurity

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

     

    Main cropping areas in Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda

    Excessively heavy, unseasonable rains, including widespread flooding

    • Increased and widespread pre- and post-harvest losses
    • Delays in harvesting, land preparation, and planting in bimodal areas, compromising production prospects in the future
    • Increased prices in more food insecure areas

    Areas that consume internationally imported commodities such as wheat flour, rice, and vegetable oil

    Cross-border and regional trade increasingly substitutes for imports from large international markets

    Steadier prices of food commodities and less transmission of global prices to local and regional markets would lead to improved food security outcomes in affected areas, with the exception of countries that have instituted price stabilization policies such as Djibouti.

    Somalia

    Stabilization of the political situation and the conflict

    Increased cross-border and international trade along with freer labor migration within Somalia would lead to improved food security outcomes.

    Sudan, South Sudan, Djibouti, and Ethiopia

    Delays or problems distributing humanitarian aid and regular social support programs

    Decreased food access among recipient households who often depend overwhelming on forms of food assistance as a key part of their livelihood

    Figures June to September rains, percentage of normal

    Figure 1

    June to September rains, percentage of normal

    Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/Climate Predication Cent…

    September to December rains as a percent of annual rainfall

    Figure 2

    September to December rains as a percent of annual rainfall

    Source: U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)/FEWS NET

    Percent normal of October to December rains as of November 29, 2012

    Figure 3

    Percent normal of October to December rains as of November 29, 2012

    Source: NOAA/CPC/FEWS NET

    Gu production, metric tons (MT) per season

    Figure 4

    Gu production, metric tons (MT) per season

    Source: FSNAU

    Belg production, metric tons (MT) per season

    Figure 5

    Belg production, metric tons (MT) per season

    Source: Ethiopia's Central Statistics Agency (CSA)

    Regional consumer price inflation rated, October 2012

    Figure 6

    Regional consumer price inflation rated, October 2012

    Source: FSNAU , CSA, the governments of Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda

    Retail sorghum prices change from September 2011 to September 2012

    Figure 7

    Retail sorghum prices change from September 2011 to September 2012

    Source: FEWS NET, Sudan Institutional Capacity Program: Food Security Information for A…

    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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