East Africa Food Security Outlook Update December 2014
Conflict continues to drive food insecurity in many areas of the region
About 12.4 million people in East Africa are in need of humanitarian assistance. As of November, the majority were in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in northeastern Djibouti, eastern and northeastern Ethiopia, northern and eastern Kenya, southern and central Somalia, western and southern Sudan, and the Greater Upper Nile States in South Sudan. Significant populations remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) in these countries and in Burundi, Rwanda, and northeastern Uganda.
Cumulative October and November rainfall was below average in parts of southern Somalia and northeastern Kenya. However average to above-average rainfall is expected to continue through December in the rest of the eastern Horn. As a result, food insecurity is anticipated to ease to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from January to March in most of the eastern Horn, outside of southern Somalia and northeastern Kenya.
Nevertheless, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) will continue through March in localized areas, including pastoral areas in northern and southern Djibouti, southern and northeastern Afar, and some areas in eastern Amhara and Tigray Regions, and the lowlands of East and West Hararghe and West Arsi Zones in Oromia Region in Ethiopia. Most of these areas had below-average rainfall during their rainy seasons at various points in 2014, leading to low production.
Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is likely to persist through March 2015 in many parts of the Greater Upper Nile States in South Sudan, southern and western Sudan, southern and central Somalia, and localized areas of northern Kenya, due to conflict and heightened insecurity. A large number of conflict-affected, poor households in wide areas of the Greater Upper Nile States are likely to deteriorate from Crisis (IPC Phase 3) to Emergency (IPC Phase 4) between January and March. Poor households in these areas have limited access to humanitarian assistance, markets, and labor opportunities, constraining their access to food and income.
Staple food prices continued to decline between October and November in areas where harvests are continuing, including Sudan, South Sudan, western Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda. In particular, above-average harvests in Tanzania this year have increased exportable surpluses and moderated prices there and in areas that import from Tanzania, including northeastern and eastern Rwanda, Burundi, and southern Kenya. Low production and constrained market access have sustained above-average food prices in conflict-affected areas, including localized parts of southern and central Somalia, northern Kenya, and the Greater Upper Nile States in South Sudan. These high prices remain in the Greater Upper Nile States despite increased imports from Sudan and Ethiopia.