East Africa Key Message Update, October 2018
Severe outcomes likely to persist in several countries despite anticipated regional improvement
While food security outcomes are expected to improve across East Africa, parts of South Sudan and Yemen are likely to be in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and at risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) through January 2019. In central Unity in South Sudan, the risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) will increase through the end of this year and into 2019, and Emergency (IPC Phase 4!) is most likely in early 2019, by which time assistance delivery is expected to resume. In a worst-case scenario in Yemen, poor households in northern and western governorates may face Famine (IPC Phase 5) if continued conflict cuts off access to humanitarian assistance and food imports. Additionally, high concern remains for populations displaced by drought and conflict in Somalia in several IDP settlements.
Although humanitarian assistance prevented worse outcomes in many areas in September, Somali, Oromia, and SNNPR regions in Ethiopia, localized areas in Sudan and Somalia, and most of Yemen are expected to sustain Crisis (IPC Phase 3) through January, while Emergency (IPC Phase 4) is expected in Somalia’s Guban Pastoral livelihood zone. Conflict and climatic disruptions to livelihoods and macroeconomic challenges have significantly constrained food and income sources. Refugees hosted in Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda accessed humanitarian assistance in September and most are Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!); however, funding gaps may lead to ration cuts and precipitate Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes.
Recent poor or erratic seasonal rains in parts of Somalia, Ethiopia, and Uganda have resulted in below-average crop and livestock production as of September. This has sustained Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes in Northwestern Agropastoral livelihood zone in Somalia and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes in Karamoja sub-region in Uganda. In eastern Ethiopia, humanitarian food assistance mitigated consumption gaps, leaving many areas Stressed! (IPC Phase 2). Most of these affected areas will likely improve to or maintain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through January.
Above-average rainfall in Sudan has improved crop production prospects but has also caused short-term negative impacts from flooding and landslides in some states. Throughout the East Africa region, rainfall forecast models indicate an enhanced likelihood of a mild, short-lived El Niño event from October to early 2019, likely resulting in average to above-average seasonal rainfall. While this is anticipated to enhance overall crop and livestock productivity, riverine and lowland areas will be susceptible to flooding while areas in Burundi and Rwanda will be vulnerable to landslides, which would cause displacement, lead to crop and asset losses, and increase vector and water-borne disease.
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