Afghanistan + 10 more

Monitoring food security in countries with conflict situations: A joint FAO/WFP update for the United Nations Security Council (January 2020) Issue No 7

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Spotlight on Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Haiti, Lake Chad Basin, central Sahel (Burkina Faso, Mali and the Niger), Somalia and South Sudan

Executive summary

This seventh update, jointly prepared by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) for the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), covers five countries (Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Haiti, Somalia and South Sudan) and two regions (the Lake Chad Basin and central Sahel) that are currently experiencing protracted conflict and insecurity and in which, according to latest figures, almost 30 million people need urgent food, nutrition and livelihood assistance.

It provides new 2019 data from the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) and Cadre Harmonisé (CH) for five of the countries that were included in the August 2019 update to the UNSC as well as the addition of one country (Haiti) and one region (central Sahel) because of the severity of food insecurity driven by conflict/political unrest in these territories.

For the first time in four years, the number of violent conflicts in the world has risen (OCHA, 2019). Unsurprisingly, therefore, this update gives little cause for optimism. The analysis indicates a worsening of the food security situation in Somalia and persisting high levels of food insecurity in Afghanistan and the Lake Chad Basin. Although the numbers of acutely food insecure people in South Sudan showed a downward trend, the analysis was carried out before the country was hit by devastating floods. The Central African Republic experienced a slight improvement thanks to the above-average harvest and improved security in some areas. Acute food insecurity levels in Haiti and central Sahel, which were not in the previous update, are extremely concerning and forecast to deteriorate.

At the beginning of 2019, there were 41 active highly violent conflicts, an increase from 36 at the start of the previous year (OCHA, 2019). These conflicts, which are mostly happening in already poor, fragile and food insecure areas, are causing immense suffering and a huge need for humanitarian assistance, which has been vital in preventing a worsening of food crises in many countries covered in this update. And yet, distribution of relief assistance, assessment of needs and monitoring of beneficiaries are being increasingly constrained by lack of humanitarian access, fighting and violence against humanitarian workers as well high fuel prices, checkpoints, landmines and explosive remnants of war, damaged roads and difficult terrain, in all the countries and regions profiled in this update.