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Conflict and drought continue to drive high acute food insecurity needs

  • Key Message Update
  • East Africa
  • January 2016
Conflict and drought continue to drive high acute food insecurity needs

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Large populations in conflict-affected Unity, Jonglei, and Upper Nile States in South Sudan are in Emergency (IPC Phase 4), while smaller populations of worst-affected households in central/southern Unity State are in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5). In addition to the conflict constraining food access, the devaluation of the local currency and resulting price increases are also contributing to restricting market access.

    • El Niño-driven drought in northern pastoral areas of Ethiopia is driving Emergency (IPC Phase 4) acute food insecurity outcomes among poor households in Afar and Sitti Zone of northern Somali. Additionally, El Niño-led drought in agricultural areas of central and eastern Ethiopia in 2015 led to successive poor agricultural seasons. Cropping lowlands in East and West Hararghe are in Emergency (IPC Phase 4), while large areas of Tigray, eastern Amhara, eastern Oromia, and northern SNNPR remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

    • Poor 2015 rainfall driven by the ongoing El Niño also impacted northern Somalia. The Northern Inland Pastoral, Northern Agropastoral, and Guban Pastoral livelihood zones have limited pastoral resource availability and continue to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity.  While many have migrated their herds to central Somalia, the poor households who have remained have lost livestock, and have limited access to milk, other livestock products, and humanitarian assistance.

    • Conflict and political instability in South Sudan, Yemen, Burundi, and parts of Sudan continues in January. Just over 5.1 million had been displaced by conflict in South Sudan, Burundi, and Yemen, as of mid-January. For conflict-affected, resident households, access to commodity and labor markets, normal income sources, and humanitarian assistance is severely restricted, limiting access to food.

    • Household food security is expected to improve across much of the rest of East Africa, including large areas of western Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, central and southern Somalia, and bi-modal areas in Uganda with recent, generally above average production. Generally favourable weather conditions during the ongoing El Niño enhanced crop and livestock production, replenishing household food stocks.


      For more detailed analysis, see the Regional Food Security Outlook for November 2015.


    Figure 1


    This Key Message Update provides a high-level analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography. Learn more here.

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