East Africa Key Message Update, November 2018
Risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) persists in Yemen and South Sudan
- Severe acute food insecurity persists in Yemen and South Sudan and both continue to face a risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5). Yemen faces the largest food security emergency in the world, in which up to 15 million people face large food consumption gaps. In Yemen, should key port facilities be damaged or trade from ports to urban areas be cut off for a prolonged period, Famine (IPC Phase 5) would be likely. Even in the absence of import limitations, the possibility for more drastic price shocks poses a risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5). In South Sudan, many households are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse. Should conflict limit access to humanitarian assistance and population movement, Famine (IPC Phase 5) is likely in Central Unity and would be possible in Greater Baggari.
- Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes persist in southeastern pastoral areas, northern pastoral Afar, and conflict-affected woredas in Ethiopia; IDP settlements and Northern Inland Pastoral livelihood zone in Somalia; and localized areas in southern and western Sudan. In Guban Pastoral livelihood zone in Somalia, Emergency (IPC Phase 4) is likely if humanitarian assistance were not sustained. In Ethiopia and Somalia, conflict and significantly below-average herd sizes are driving reduced access to food and income. In Sudan, a sharp devaluation in the local currency has severely reduced household purchasing power, and food assistance needs in early to mid-2019 are likely to be higher than previously projected.
- The onset of the October to December 2018 Deyr/Hageya/short rains season has been delayed and erratic in intensity and distribution. Substantial cumulative rainfall deficits in southern Somalia, eastern and western Kenya, and parts of southeastern Ethiopia have increased the likelihood of below-average total seasonal rainfall. Although available food stocks are likely to facilitate food access and soil moisture conditions are anticipated to mitigate crop production shortfalls, a below-average season would reverse recent gains in food security outcomes in several pastoral livelihood zones. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are likely to spread in parts of Ethiopia and Somalia beginning in early 2019.
- According to UNHCR, the total number of internally displaced persons reached 10 million people in October, located in Burundi, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, and Yemen. An additional estimated 4.2 million refugees are sheltering in camps in Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda, and Tanzania. Most refugees and internally displaced populations have limited livelihood opportunities and are primarily dependent on humanitarian assistance. Food ration cuts of 10 to 30 percent have occurred in several host countries and, should funding shortfalls lead to additional cuts, deterioration to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) would be likely.