Uganda: Acute Food Insecurity Situation for November 2017 - February 2018
86% of the total population in the country is minimally food insecure (IPC Phase 1). The households in this phase have access to a variety of adequate and nutritious food both from household stocks carried forward from first season 2017 and the on-going harvests from the second season, which are good in most areas of the country because of favourable rains received. Food in markets is easily accessed and affordable because prices have declined and the households have adequate purchasing power. They have good nutrition levels because they are able to eat two or more time a day with a good dietary diversity. With the on-going good harvests, expected to end in January, the proportion of national population in phase 1 is likely to increase in the next two months apart from Karamoja and South Western regions. Currently access to livestock products is good because of the available pasture and water. However, livestock production is expected to decline due to expected dry conditions which will intensify in January and February 2018.
13% of the total population in the country is stressed (IPC Phase 2). This population has minimum adequate food consumption, are employing insurance strategies and are unable to afford some essential non-food expenditures. All regions in the country have a stressed population, the highest being in Karamoja (35%), East Central (17%), Acholi (16%) and Central 2 (16%). The households in these regions all suffered the effects of prolonged dry spells that stressed most of the crops and reduced yields from both the first season and second season. The prolonged dry spells also enhanced the spread of Fall Army Worm which affected cereals mainly maize, sorghum and rice, yet some areas also suffered livestock disease outbreaks. The food stocks for households in this phase will last a shirt time in the future (about 1month) forcing the population to depend on piece-meal harvests from second season. However, as the production in the second season is anticipated to be normal and above normal for some areas, the effect of depletion of food stocks will be so much; except for South-Western and Karamoja regions. Households in this phase will therefore most likely not drop into phase 3 (Crisis). The situation is likely to improve in the next two months as harvesting will continue until end of January 2018. For those whose livelihood depends mainly on livestock, the situation may not improve due to the expected dry spell in January and February, which is likely to reduce the availability of water and pasture. The influx of refugees from South Sudan has also increased demand for food and services in West Nile region.
1% of the total population in the country is in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). This population has widening food consumption gaps with deteriorating dietary diversity and high malnutrition rates. They are found in Karamoja (10%), Teso (3%), Acholi (8%) and West Nile (5%) regions. The affected population includes the poorest households with poor food consumption score, low meal frequencies of up to 1 meal a day and low dietary diversity of less than 3 food groups. They have poor purchasing power as their incomes are low and no food stocks at household level. They are mainly coping through food assistance, remittances from relatives, begging, stealing food, wild food gathering and irreversible sale of productive assets to buy food. This population currently needs assistance to bridge the widening food consumption gaps and avert the worsening malnutrition.