East Africa Key Message Update, August 2018
Protracted conflict drives food insecurity; and flooding in the north affects livelihoods
Continued conflict and subsequent displacement have disrupted livelihoods and access to key sources of food and income in South Sudan, Yemen, and parts of Somalia, Sudan, and Ethiopia. Large populations are experiencing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes across these areas, which are likely to persist through January 2019. South Sudan and Yemen remain the areas of greatest concern. In a worst-case scenario, if there is a sustained absence of humanitarian assistance in South Sudan, and in Yemen, if commercial imports decline significantly for an extended period of time and conflict restricts trade and humanitarian assistance, Famine (IPC Phase 5) is possible.
From June to early August, there has been above-average rainfall across parts of central and western regions of Ethiopia into Sudan and South Sudan, which has led to flooding, with the greatest intensity in Sudan. While the heavy rainfall has been beneficial for some crop development and pasture regeneration, it has also caused displacement, infrastructure, crop, and livestock losses, and disrupted household livelihoods in affected areas. Given the forecast, there is the likelihood for additional flash floods in these countries.
Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes persist over parts of southeastern Ethiopia and southern and central Somalia, but food security continues to improve as livestock production and prices have increased substantially. Somalia Gu production in southern agropastoral areas is expected to be above average, while total Meher production in Ethiopia and marginal production in Kenya is likely to be near average. By January 2019, food security outcomes are expected to further improve to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) or Minimal (IPC Phase 1) across many areas of the Eastern Horn; however, Somalia’s Guban Pastoral Livelihood Zone is likely to remain in Emergency (IPC Phase 4).
According to UNCHR as of mid-July, a total of nearly 11.3 million people are internally displaced in Burundi, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, and Yemen, while there are 4.6 million refugees from these countries living in Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda, and Tanzania. The majority of these populations have limited capacities to access food and income and are dependent on humanitarian assistance amidst substantial funding gaps. Current food ration cuts of up to 30 percent for refugees and asylum seekers could lead to a deterioration in food security outcomes if they persist.