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Drought and conflict continue to drive large assistance needs in East Africa

  • Key Message Update
  • East Africa
  • June 2017
Drought and conflict continue to drive large assistance needs in East Africa

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Conflict in Yemen continues to be the primary driver of the largest food security emergency in the world. Although ongoing humanitarian assistance continues to mitigate extreme acute food insecurity among a high number of people, large areas of the country remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4), the latter of which is associated with an increased risk of excess mortality. In a worse-case scenario in which food imports drop substantially for a sustained period of time or conflict persistently restricts the flows of food to local markets, Famine (IPC Phase 5) is possible.  

    • Extreme levels of acute food insecurity persist in South Sudan. Humanitarian assistance is likely mitigating more severe outcomes in central Unity State, but in northern Jonglei, recent malnutrition data indicates a likely deterioration of food security into mid-2017. Consistently high rates of displacement and ongoing conflict are disrupting first season cultivation in Greater Equatoria and are likely to interfere with upcoming main season cultivation in Jonglei, Western Bahr el Ghazal, Unity, and Upper Nile States.

    • Emergency (IPC Phase 4) acute food insecurity is likely to persist through September in much of Somalia, following consecutively poor rainy seasons in 2016 and 2017. In pastoral areas, many poor households have limited access to food and income due to low herd sizes as a result of excessive sale and livestock deaths. Meanwhile, agropastoral households are significant difficulty meeting food needs due to very limited harvests and agricultural labor. In a worst-case scenario in which there is a significant interruption in current food assistance, Famine (IPC Phase 5) is possible. 

    • In Ethiopia, most pastoral areas of Somali Region are likely to face Emergency (IPC Phase 4) acute food insecurity through at least September 2017, in the absence of humanitarian assistance, due to significant drought-related livestock deaths and excessive sales of livestock. At the national level, humanitarian assistance needs are expected to be highest during the peak of the June to September 2017 lean season, with the greatest needs in Somali, eastern and southern Oromia, and SNNP regions.

    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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