topics icon

Fighting Famine in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen

More than 30 million people in northeastern Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen are experiencing severe food insecurity, of whom 20 million are at immediate risk. In parts of South Sudan, famine has already been declared, with 100,000 people targeted for immediate, life-saving aid. Continued violence in all four countries is compounding decades of under-investment in agriculture, leading to a potential catastrophe if humanitarian corridors are not opened up quickly, and aid is not increased rapidly, to prevent millions from dying of hunger. The UN has issued an urgent appeal for US$4.9 billion by July for life-saving assistance in the key areas of food security, health, nutrition, and water, sanitation and hygiene, but so far, only $1.9 billion has been received. (OCHA, 9 June 2017)


According to OCHA (15 May 2017), 4.7 million people are estimated to be food insecure in the country’s most crisis-affected states (Borno, Adamawa and Yobe). This number is expected to rise to 5.2 million between June and August if adequate measures are not put in place. In addition, says NRC (5 May 2017), some families are so desperate for food that they have eaten their seed stocks, leaving them nothing to plant for the next growing season. Communities began to flee violence in northeast Nigeria in 2009, following relentless violence by the armed group Boko Haram. Some 1.8 million people have been displaced inside Nigeria since, and over 200,000 have fled to Cameroon, Chad and Niger. Now these countries are forcing them to return, adding to the burden of care on already very stretched resources.


According to the latest reports, there is an increased risk of famine this year in some parts of Somalia. To respond to the growing needs, partners have revised the Humanitarian Response Plan for 2017; it now seeks US$1.5 billion to reach 5.5 million people with life-saving assistance in 2017. As of 11 May, donors had provided $634 million in 2017.

The number of people needing humanitarian assistance has increased to 6.7 million, up from 6.2 million, according to the latest projections by the FAO-managed Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit. A total of 3.2 million people are expected to face Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phase 3 and 4) levels of food insecurity through June (OCHA, 16 May 2017).

The warnings are clear: in a worst-case scenario where, first, the 2017 Gu (April-June) season performs very poorly, second, purchasing power declines to levels seen in 2010/2011, and third, humanitarian assistance is unable to reach populations in need, famine (IPC Phase 5) is expected (FAO, 5 May 2017).

In addition, Somalia is experiencing the worst outbreak of cholera in five years, with nearly 38,000 cases and almost 683 deaths so far in 2017. With the beginning of the rainy season and projected flooding, these numbers are expected to increase to 50,000 cases by end-June. Cases of measles are also on the rise, with more than 7,000 this year, 65 per cent affecting children under-five (OCHA, 16 May 2017).


The scope of the food crisis is unprecedented, with many people already in IPC Phase 4 for more than a year. Almost half the population - 5.5 million South Sudanese - face severe food insecurity at the peak of the coming lean season in July 2017. Of these, one million are on the brink of famine in IPC Phase 4. Market failure is devastating people’s incomes and purchasing power; resurgent fighting and resulting displacement have prevented farmers from planting or harvesting their crops, while continued insecurity and the economic crisis have rendered the food supply pipeline from Uganda dysfunctional (FAO, 5 May 2017).

South Sudan has now become the world’s fastest-growing refugee crisis, with more than 1.8 million people – including one million children – having sought safety in Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Central African Republic (WFP, UNHCR, 15 May 2017). Agencies are now seeking $1.4 billion to help South Sudanese refugees in the six neighbouring countries until the end of 2017.


With an estimated 17 million people in ‘emergency’ or ‘crisis’ levels of food insecurity, Yemen is one of the worst hunger crises in the world. After two years of deadly civil war, more than two-thirds of the population are struggling to feed themselves and urgently require life and livelihood-saving assistance. Taiz and Al Hudaydah, traditionally food-producing governorates, have been the focus of intense violence since the crisis escalated. Without additional humanitarian and livelihoods support, these two regions, accounting for almost a quarter of Yemen’s population, risk slipping into famine (FAO, 5 May 2017). In addition, the cholera outbreak has surged in recent months, with 23,425 new suspected cases and 242 related deaths (case-fatality rate 1.1%) reported in May, mainly from Amran, Hajjah and Sana’a governorates and Sana’a city (WHO, 20 May 2017).

All Updates on Fighting Famine in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen

Filter results



Only show "Must Read"
12,463 entries found
Sort by: Latest |Relevance
28 Jun 2017 description
report UN Children's Fund


• By the end of May, over 65,000 suspected cases of cholera and at least 532 deaths have been reported, the number of cases increases by the minute*. The outbreak is making an already dire situation for children in Yemen much worse. Almost half of the suspected cases are children.

• The situation is overwhelming for what remains of Yemen’s conflict-battered health system. Hospitals and health facilities are struggling to cope. There is a shortage of health workers, many of whom have not been paid for months.

28 Jun 2017 description



Le 21 juin, l’attaque suicide qui a tué 11 personnes et blessé neuf autres à Kolofata, dans l’Extrême Nord du Cameroun, a conduit certaines ONG et agences des Nations Unies à suspendre leurs opérations dans la région. Cette attaque était la 10e du genre ce mois-ci dans le département de Mayo Sava. Les attentats suicides et les engins explosifs improvisés disséminés sur le bord des routes sont parmi les principales causes d'insécurité dans la région.

28 Jun 2017 description



A suicide attack on 21 June that killed 11 people and injured nine others in Kolofata area in Cameroon’s Far North region has prompted some NGOs and UN agencies to suspend operations in the area. The attack was the 10th of its kind in Mayo Sava department this month. Suicide blasts and improvised explosive devices planted on the roadside are some of the main causes of insecurity in the region.


28 Jun 2017 description

Key Findings

• The majority of internally displaced persons (IDPs) do not intend to return to their pre-displacement locations.
• Only 1 Primary Health Care Unit (PHCU) was found functional
• There are no schools in the IDP settlements and the children are not attending school. Only a few IDP children attend school in Terekeka town.
• There is a lack of ltered drinking water and jerry cans to collect water.


28 Jun 2017 description


• One year on from the declaration of the cholera outbreak in South Sudan on 18 June 2016, new cases continue to be reported.

• Early warning and mobilization of a large-scale, multi-sectoral humanitarian response have eased famine in Leer and Mayendit counties. However, an unprecedented 6 million people are now severely food insecure.

• Humanitarians continue to ramp-up their response to the needs of tens of thousands of civilians displaced in northern and central Jonglei.

28 Jun 2017 description
file preview
Screenshot of the interactive content as of 28 Jun 2017.
28 Jun 2017 description


Somalia is in the second year of a severe drought—the kind that is increasingly likely as the climate warms. Somali communities were looking forward to a relief from the Gu 2017 rainfall season but the devastating drought conditions meant that the country experienced yet another below-average season affecting the recovery of the key livelihood sectors; agricultural and livestock. So far, drought conditions continues to affect Somalia; a situation that may persist until the next rainy season in October.

28 Jun 2017 description


  • Somalia remains free of famine, but the risk persists. Vulnerable households continue to struggle to cope with the impact of protracted drought, insecurity and disease outbreaks.

  • In May, WFP reached 2.4 million beneficiaries – five times the number of people reached in January - with emergency food and cash-based assistance.

Situation Update

  • Continued, massive support is needed to keep Somalia free of famine.

28 Jun 2017 description
report REACH Initiative


REACH was deployed to Nigeria in April 2017 in order to support the humanitarian response to the Lake Chad Crisis. REACH city-wide rapid assessments of informal internally displaced person (IDP) camps in Maiduguri aim to identify common community services used by IDPs and barriers they may or may not face in accessing critical services, while also building a deeper understanding around displacement dynamics of IDP populations.

27 Jun 2017 description


2,334,000 People in needs
148 Million USD Total Estimated budget
31 Million USD for preparedness
117 Million USD For response


27 Jun 2017 description


  • Inflation: In May 2017, the national consumer price index increased by 334 percent compared to May 2016. The food and non-alcoholic beverage CPI has increased by 382 percent. The month-to-month consumer price index increase from April to May was very high at 40.4 percent.

27 Jun 2017 description

Somalia is in the second year of a severe drought—the kind that is increasingly likely as the climate warms.

27 Jun 2017 description
report IRIN

MAIDUGURI, 26 June 2017

On a recent Monday morning, under the blistering sun of Nigeria’s northeastern Borno State, two senior politicians – surrounded by a hoard of local officials and paparazzi – thought they spied victory in a small mountain of seeds.

Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima and former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, once a top general, picked through burlap sacks filled with 36 metric tonnes of maize, cowpea, and rice seed bred specially for the region’s arid climate. These are the latest weapons in the war against Boko Haram.

27 Jun 2017 description


  • Unfavourable prospects for upcoming 2017 “gu” season harvest due to below-average and erratic rainfall

  • Severe pasture and water shortages in most pastoral areas affecting livestock conditions

  • Access to food increasingly constrained for most households

  • About 3.2 million individuals estimated to be severely food insecure

Unfavourable prospects for upcoming 2017 “gu” season harvest due to below-average and erratic rainfall

25 Jun 2017 description

FEWS NET publishes a Seasonal Monitor for Somalia every 10 days (dekad) through the end of the current April to June Gu rainy season. The purpose of this document is to provide updated information on the progress of the Gu season to facilitate contingency and response planning. This Somalia Seasonal Monitor is valid through June 30, 2017 and is produced in collaboration with the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and the Somali Water and Land Information System (SWALIM).

25 Jun 2017 description
report REACH Initiative


Since June 2016, Western Bahr el Ghazal has experienced multiple incidents of intense conflict in areas of Wau town, and the surrounding areas of Jur river, Wau and Raja counties. Many areas in Western Bahr el Ghazal are largely inaccessible to humanitarian actors due to insecurity and logistical constraints. As a result, only limited information is available on the humanitarian situation outside major displacement sites in Wau town.

25 Jun 2017 description
report REACH Initiative


In 2014 and 2015, Upper Nile State was the site of some of the most intense conflict in South Sudan. Although the state had enjoyed a period of relative calm in 2016, since January 2017, conflict has reignited across the state. Many areas in Upper Nile are largely inaccessible to humanitarian actors due to insecurity and logistical constraints. As a result, only limited information is available on the humanitarian situation outside major displacement sites.

25 Jun 2017 description
report REACH Initiative


Conflict in Jonglei State broke out in late December 2013, only days after the current conflict began in Juba. Since then, the state has been one of the worst affected by the conflict, and currently hosts the second highest reported numbers of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the country. Many areas in Jonglei are largely inaccessible to humanitarian actors due to insecurity and logistical constraints. As a result, only limited information is available on the humanitarian situation outside major displacement sites.