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Conflict and drought to drive severe acute food insecurity through at least May 2017

  • Key Message Update
  • East Africa
  • November 2016
Conflict and drought to drive severe acute food insecurity through at least May 2017

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • A major food security emergency continues in Yemen as an estimated seven to 10 million people face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse acute food insecurity. In Ta’izz and southern coastal areas of Al Hudaydah, conflict-related disruptions to livelihoods are causing Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes, with elevated levels of acute malnutrition and excess mortality likely. Although data is limited, some populations could face Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) between October 2016 and May 2017 in areas where conflict has most restricted livelihoods and humanitarian access. 

    • Despite the ongoing harvest, persistent insecurity continues to drive Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes in much of South Sudan. Many internally displaced persons in parts of Western Bahr el Ghazal, Unity, and Greater Equatoria already in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) have limited access to their farms or humanitarian assistance. Poor households in Unity and Northern Bahr el Ghazal with little harvests could face Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) during the atypically long February to July lean season, in the absence of humanitarian assistance. 

    • Poor performance of October to December rainfall in central and southern Somalia, southern and southeastern Ethiopia, and northern and northeastern Kenya is leading to a second consecutive below-average season. Poor pasture regeneration is leading to poor livestock body conditions, atypical livestock migration, and below-average food and income from livestock and livestock products. Harvests and labor income from agricultural activities are also expected to be well below average in some areas. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is expected between January and May 2017 in parts of these areas. 

    • Although food security is expected to improve in most Kiremt-dependent areas in Ethiopia, below-average Meher harvests in eastern and central Oromia and SNNPR are expected to lead to limited improvements in food security, particularly in worst-affected areas such as East and West Hararghe. The early exhaustion of food stocks and reduced coping capacity following consecutively poor Meher seasons in these areas, combined with additional needs in pastoral areas, will lead to higher than normal assistance needs through at least mid-2017. 

    • In Sudan, 2016/17 harvests are expected to be above average, which are already contributing to improvements in food security in many areas affected by drought in 2015. However, improvements in food security are likely to be limited by displacement and conflict-related restrictions on agricultural activities and trade in parts of South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and Jebel Marra areas of Darfur. In addition, recent austerity measures may lead to increased transportation costs that could impact staple food prices. 

    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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