Seasonal rainfall well above normal in East Africa; recent evidence suggests food security further deteriorates in South Sudan
Seasonal rainfall in March and April has been well above average across large areas of East Africa, including in much of Somalia, Kenya, southern and eastern Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi, and Uganda. As of late April, rainfall in many places was more than 150 percent of normal since the start of March. These heavy rains have contributed to favorable crop development in many areas, but significant flooding has also been reported in the region, and could lead to crop losses, destruction of property, and displacement.
Recent information suggests that food security has further deteriorated in Pibor of Jonglei and Kapoeta East of Eastern Equatoria. In October 2017, the prevalence of global acute malnutrition (GAM (WHZ)) was 26.8 percent (22.8-31.2) in Pibor; since then, it is likely nutritional status has further deteriorated. Also of high concern are central Unity and Nyirol of Jonglei. In central Unity, conflict has caused a new wave of displacement and prevented the delivery of humanitarian food aid. In Nyirol, a SMART survey conducted in March found a GAM (WHZ) prevalence of 25.7 percent (21.9-30.0), and a SAM (WHZ) of 6.6 percent (4.6-9.3). Urgent humanitarian assistance is needed in these counties to save lives.
In several areas of southern Somalia, food security is expected to improve more than previously anticipated as a result of likely above-average Gu harvests. However, in northern and central regions, poor pastoralists will still have few salable animals to purchase food. In the absence of assistance, wide areas of northern and central Somalia are expected to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) is likely in parts of Northern Inland Pastoral and Aduun Pastoral livelihood zone through May and in Guban Pastoral livelihood zone between June and September.
In Yemen, national imports of wheat and market-level availability of wheat flour improved in Yemen during March 2018, but a sharp decline in the availability of cooking gas has been reported. In a worst-case scenario, significant declines in commercial imports below requirement levels and conflict that cuts populations off from trade and humanitarian assistance for an extended period could drive food security outcomes in line with Famine (IPC Phase 5).