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WFP Regional Bureau East Africa External Situation Update #3, COVID-19, September 2020

Situation Report
Originally published



• The number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase in the East African region, reaching 139,000 as at 30 September 2020. The food security situation is worsening because of floods, locust invasion, the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 and recurrent conflict.

• The East African region is one of the most food insecure regions of the world. As per the Global Food Crisis Report of 2020, three of the world’s eight largest food crises were from this region – Ethiopia, Sudan and South Sudan.

• WFP estimates the number of acutely food insecure people in East African region could increase by 73 percent – from 24 million pre-COVID-19, to 41.5 million before the end of 2020. Among the food insecure, 14 million are estimated to be in urban areas.

• WFP aims to assist 3.9 million additional people over the next six months because of the impact of COVID-19. WFP requires US$ 1.3 billion to sustain life saving assistance and meet the emerging needs in the next six months (October 2020-March 2021).

• Refugees, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and urban populations remain of significant concern. To cope with the reduced funding, WFP has been forced to reduce food or cash transfers by up to 30 percent for over 2.7 million refugees in Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, South Sudan, and Djibouti. WFP will be forced to reduce rations further in the coming months unless urgent additional funding is received on time. WFP requires US$388 million to assist refugees in the region over the next six months.

• Torrential rains have caused flooding in Jonglei and Unity states of South Sudan. The flooding compounds an already fragile humanitarian situation due to the increasing levels of subnational conflict across the country, and COVID-19. This is crippling food security and livelihoods. Currently, nearly 700,000 people have been affected by the floods. According to Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWSNET), emergency (IPC phase 4) is projected in 25 conflict and flood affected counties in September. The majority of populations are likely to be engaging in severe food coping strategies to cope with the food insecurity. A threemonth state of emergency was declared in Jonglei in response to the increasing humanitarian needs. WFP continues to provide lifesaving assistance in South Sudan amidst these challenges. In July, WFP reached over 1.32 million people with 12,379 mt. of food and US$2.14 million in cash-based transfers.