Increased conflict and below-average remittances sustain below-average food access
Despite the above-average harvest, low household purchasing power and disruption of normal livelihoods due to conflict is expected to limit poor households’ food access. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are present in areas of the country where incomes are limited and households are still recovering from the 2018 drought, as well as among displaced and undocumented populations. Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are expected across the rest of the country. As winter approaches, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are likely to emerge in areas where a disruption in the labor market and an early depletion of winter food stocks is expected.
Populations continue to flee their homes due to insecurity across the country with the highest concentrations of conflict events in four of the nine regions: southeast, southwest, northeast, and northwest. Approximately 355,000 people have been displaced by conflict in 2019 through mid-October. Many displaced households in areas where conflict is not protracted are likely to return to their homes to rebuild normal livelihoods. In areas with more frequent conflict events, IDPs remain displaced for longer periods of time and face difficulty establishing livelihoods or finding new income sources. As a result, many of these populations are likely in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).
The October 2019 to May 2020 wet season started in late-October across most of the country, except the northeast where seasonal snowfall started in September. The forecast is for average cumulative precipitation for the 2019/20 season. In most areas, winter wheat planting is ongoing. In insecure areas, farmers are facing some difficulty accessing agricultural lands due to conflict. However, ground reports indicate many temporarily displaced households are likely to engage in agriculture production upon returning to their homes. This, coupled with the fact that agriculture engagement is increasing, indicates area planted for winter wheat is likely to be above average.
Rangeland conditions are likely to remain near or above the median until the onset of snowfall in November/December in lower elevated areas. As a result, livestock body conditions are expected to continue improving through December. Livestock productivity is average, facilitating normal household consumption. Despite the average to above-average livestock prices, many pastoral and agropastoral households’ purchasing power is below normal. This is due to below average herd sizes as the result of livestock losses during the 2018 drought.