About five years ago, the world made a commitment to end hunger and achieve food security and improved nutrition by 2030 through Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG 2). While this remains a top priority for IGAD, the region is increasingly off target to achieving this goal.
Every year, weather extremes, conflict/ insecurity, and macroeconomic shocks drive millions into acute food insecurity and malnutrition across the region. This is against a background of chronic vulnerabilities owing to recurrent stressors, protracted conflict in parts of the region, high levels of poverty and low resilience capacities. In 2020, the desert locust upsurge and COVID-19 pandemic dealt a further blow.
Acute food insecurity and malnutrition levels are historically higher in the arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs), which make up about 70 percent of the region, where pastoral and agropastoral livelihoods are repeatedly hit by weather extremes.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also exposed the vulnerability of the region’s urban residents, who are highly dependent on informal employment.
The IGAD region continues to host large populations of IDPs and refugees with limited coping mechanisms and fewer livelihood opportunities, exposing them to disproportionately high levels of acute food insecurity and malnutrition.
The need for effective programmes, projects and policies aimed at addressing the region’s food crises cannot be over-emphasised. At the core of this is a need for timely data and information that details who, how many, where and why populations are acutely food insecure or malnourished, as well as how a food crisis is likely to evolve.
This regional report provides a comprehensive assessment of acute food insecurity and malnutrition in the IGAD region in 2020. It is a by-product of the Global Report on Food Crises (GRFC) – an initiative of the Global Network against Food Crises, facilitated by the Food Security Information Network (FSIN) and its 16 global and regional partners. The GRFC is a document of reference with credible information and analyses endorsed by experts and held to the highest standards, based on independent, consensus-based assessments using the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) and Cadre Harmonisé (CH) or comparable sources.
This regional report presents an opportunity for governments, policy makers, and development and humanitarian actors to better understand the food-crisis landscape in the IGAD region, including the complex interplay between the drivers and impacts of acute food insecurity and malnutrition. It draws attention to the urgent need for concerted and redoubled efforts to address the drivers of food crises across the region.