East Africa Food Security Outlook, February to September 2017
Elevated risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) continues in South Sudan, Yemen, and Somalia
In January, the South Sudan IPC Technical Working Group (TWG) raised concerns that Famine (IPC Phase 5) could be ongoing in parts of central Unity. Upon reviewing the analysis, the IPC’s Emergency Review Committee (ERC) concluded that while available evidence was insufficient to make a Famine determination following IPC protocols, Famine (IPC Phase 5) was likely occurring in Leer, possibly occurring in Koch, and that humanitarian assistance was preventing Famine (IPC Phase 5) in Mayendit. Based on these ERC conclusions, the South Sudan TWG declared that Famine (IPC Phase 5) was the most likely outcome in Leer and Mayendit during the February-July period.
Yemen continues to face the largest food security emergency in the world, with large populations in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4) acute food insecurity, the latter of which is associated with an increased risk of excess mortality. In a worst-case scenario, where food imports drop significantly below requirement levels or where conflict prevents trade and humanitarian access to populations for an extended period of time, Famine (IPC Phase 5) is possible.
Large areas of Somalia, southeastern Ethiopia, and northeastern Kenya are expected to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) between February and September 2017, with some areas of Somalia in Emergency (IPC Phase 4), due to impacts of drought in 2016 on agriculture and livestock. In January, FEWS NET and FSNAU released joint statements on deteriorating food security in Somalia and the risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) in a worst-case scenario in which the April to June 2017 Gu season performs very poorly, purchasing power declines to levels seen in 2010/11, and humanitarian assistance is unable to reach populations in need.
Displacement and restrictions on trade and livelihoods activities will likely lead to Emergency (IPC Phase 4) in parts of Jebel Marra in some Darfur areas of Sudan, as well as in South Kordofan where 2016 harvests were also below average. Below-average harvests in 2016 are likely to lead to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security outcomes in parts of Burundi, Rwanda, and Tanzania, as well as areas of Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in parts of Uganda.