East Africa Food Security Outlook, June 2018 to January 2019
Humanitarian assistance and improved seasonal performance mitigate a deterioration in food security
Across East Africa, Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes persist in parts of South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen, while Crisis (IPC Phase 3!) prevails in other parts of South Sudan and Yemen as humanitarian assistance is mitigating outcomes that are primarily conflict driven. In many previously drought-affected areas of the region, better seasonal performance has driven substantial improvements in Ethiopia’s Somali Region and pastoral areas of Kenya and Somalia.
The areas of greatest concern in the region remain Yemen and South Sudan, where in a worst-case scenario Famine (IPC Phase 5) is possible. In Yemen, this may occur if there are significant declines in commercial imports and conflict cuts off populations’ access to trade and humanitarian assistance, and in South Sudan it is possible if there is a sustained absence of assistance for an extended period of time.
In Ethiopia and Somalia, the above-average Gu rains, coupled with the continued delivery of humanitarian assistance, have improved food security outcomes. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected in Ethiopia’s Somali Region and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes persist across larger areas of Somalia. However, Somalia’s Guban Pastoral Livelihood Zone is likely to remain in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) through January 2019. In addition, food security outcomes have deteriorated for about one million conflict-displaced people along Ethiopia’s Oromia-Somali regional border.
In Sudan, well above-average staple food prices are expected to constrain poor households’ purchasing power, likely exacerbating outcomes, particularly for IDPs in SPLM-N controlled areas of South Kordofan. While the March to June rains have been above normal seasonal levels in most of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Uganda, severe flooding, population displacement, destruction of crops, livestock, and infrastructure, coupled with an upsurge of vector and water borne diseases, including the Rift Valley Fever in Kenya, have disrupted livelihoods in flood-affected areas. The loss of livelihood assets has limited access to food and income in riverine areas, worsening food security.