Minor improvements in food security expected during March to May long rains
The largest increase in the acute food insecure population between August and February was in agropastoral areas, though a large number of the acutely food insecure can also be found in pastoral areas in the Northeast. Also, about 1.3 million people remain acutely food insecure in the southeastern, pastoral and coastal marginal agricultural areas, with majority of the population in these regions remaining Stressed (IPC Phase 2).
Food security is expected to remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) in the southeastern marginal agricultural areas and pastoral areas in the Northeast, with food access coming from casual labor income, income from livestock, and short-cycle crops through June. However, food availability and access is expected to decline from June through September as these sources of food and income dissipate, even as households maintain minimally adequate food consumption.
The onset of the long rains in March was normally timed in much of the country during the second to third weeks of March. There was a short dry spell at the beginning of April but the rains resumed in the second week of April. However, thus far, the spatial distribution and temporal distribution has been erratic, which is likely to negatively impact crop and livestock production.
The performance of the long rains and food price trends will help determine food security outcomes through September. Due to the below average and erratic performance of the long rains thus far, household food availability and access will slightly improve through June, but it will deteriorate between July and September, driven by increases in food prices during the August to October lean season.