ACAPS Briefing Note: East Africa - Food Security & Drought (17 June 2014)
East of Africa Overview
Food security: As of May 2014, nearly 17 million people are in Stressed, Crisis, and Emergency (IPC Phases 2, 3, and 4) acute food insecurity conditions in East Africa. Populations in the higher phases can be found in South Sudan, Sudan, eastern Ethiopia, Djibouti, southern Somalia, and northern Kenya (FEWSNET, 06/2014).
Need for assistance: The number of people in need of humanitarian assistance for food security in the subregion is estimated at about 11 million (including 3.7 million in South Sudan, 3.3 million in Sudan, 2.4 million in Ethiopia, 850,000 in Kenya, 600,000 in Somalia, 100,000 in Karamoja region of Uganda, and 70,000 in Djibouti) (GIEWS, 03/2014).
Climate: March to May rains have been erratic and well below-average in East Africa, particularly in parts of Kenya, Tanzania, eastern Ethiopia, and central and northern Somalia, for both pastoral and cropping regions (FEWSNET, 06/2014). Current forecasts suggest an increased likelihood of below-average June to September rainfall in many areas. If these forecasts are realised, main season harvests in Sudan and South Sudan, and to a lesser extent, in Ethiopia and Kenya could be negatively affected. (FEWSNET, 05/2014)
Markets/Prices: Conflict and insecurity continued to constrain trade flows in northern and eastern South Sudan, southern Somalia, and the Darfur and South Kordofan states in Sudan (FEWSNET, 05/2014).
Lessons learned: In 2011, the Horn of Africa faced one of the driest years since 1950/51, causing a food crisis that escalated into famine in parts of the region. By the end of July 2011, some 12.4 million people were in need of urgent assistance to save their lives and to recover their livelihoods; this number nearly doubled in the subsequent months as the situation deteriorated rapidly (FAO, 2011).