Ethiopia + 11 more

Eastern Africa Region: Regional Food Security & Nutrition Update 2022 First Quarter (May 2022)



  • Food insecurity is rapidly worsening in Eastern Africa- an estimated 81.6 million people including IDPs, refugees and host communities in rural and urban areas are facing high acute food insecurity. This represents about 39 percent increase from the 58.6 million recorded in November 2021. In Somalia, there is an increasing risk of famine in the next two months should the seasonal rains fail completely, and humanitarian food assistance not reach those most in need on time. The overall food insecurity situation is expected to worsen across most countries in the region through the lean season while faced with multiple and overlapping shocks (drought, flooding, macro-economic challenges, and conflict).

  • The nutrition situation in the region is critical, with approximately 7 million children under 5 years expected to be acutely malnourished in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia including more than 1.7 million with severe acute malnutrition. There is a high likelihood of the nutrition situation deteriorating in the next three months, exacerbated by the high unaffordability of nutritious diets and drought impacts.

  • Worsening drought conditions in southern Ethiopia, eastern and northern Kenya, and southern and central Somalia led to severe water and pasture shortages, livestock deaths, below-average harvests (65 percent in Somalia & 70 percent in marginal agricultural areas of Kenya), sharply increasing cereal and other staple food prices while also eroding household purchasing power. A fourth consecutive below-average rainfall season is highly likely during GU (march to May) rains complicating the situation. Flooding in South Sudan, which has left large swarths of land inundated for three years in a row continue to limit farming and livestock production, affecting many in the Sudd particularly in Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile.

  • Conflict continues to increase the severity of food insecurity particularly northern Ethiopia, parts of South Sudan, Sudan, and Somalia. Severe food insecurity persists in Northern Regions of Ethiopia (Tigray, Afar, and Amhara) despite recent ceasefire and limited humanitarian flows. In Sudan, South Sudan, and Somalia, politically instigated sub-national conflict over resources as well as inter-communal violence continue, causing population displacement, disrupting livelihoods, markets, and constraining humanitarian access.

  • Different countries in the region continue to face macro-economic challenges that negatively impact food security, Sudan is the most affected followed by Ethiopia and South Sudan. COVID-19, which set off the worst global recession in over a century, aggravated the pre-existing economic vulnerabilities, which have now been worsened by the global fallout of Ukraine’s war. The risk of skyrocketing domestic food inflation remains high in six out of the ten Eastern Africa countries, four of which are already experiencing double-digit food inflation (13 percent in Somalia, 16 percent in Burundi, 42 percent in Ethiopia and 258 percent in Sudan). Sudan, Eritrea, and Djibouti are the highest at risk of increased and higher inflation because of the Ukraine’s war.