Eswatini: Acute Food Insecurity Situation June - September 2020 and Projection for October 2020 - March 2021



Between June and September 2020, over 330,000 people (29% of the population) is expected to experience high acute food insecurity. This includes nearly 30,000 people in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and 301,000 in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

Compared with 2019, the country’s food insecurity situation has deteriorated with a notable increase in the proportion of the populations in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and higher. In the projected period, the number of people facing high acute food insecurity will likely increase to over 366,000 people (32% of the total population).

This is mainly due to low food stocks from the harvest and the negative economic impacts of COVID-19 on incomes and employment opportunities for rural and urban households.

The IPC analysis was undertaken for rural and urban areas in Eswatini; comprising of four rural districts: (Manzini, Shiselweni,Lubombo and Hhohho); and two urban districts: (Hhohho urban and Manzini urban). In the current period, 32% of the rural population (292,794 people) and 17% of the urban population (37,424 people) are in Crisis or worse (IPC Phase 3 or above), representing 89% and 11% of the total population in Crisis or worse nationwide, respectively.

Key Drivers

COVID-19 pandemic mitigation measures to prevent the spread of the virus has negative impacts on some households’ livelihoods.

Dry spells in November and December led to a delayed start of the farming season, which negatively impacted food production.

Unusually high commodity prices further restricted food access and exacerbated the already compromised food availability for poorest households.