2015-2016 El Niño: WFP and FAO Overview (As of 7 December 2015)

Globally, millions of vulnerable households are at risk of increased hunger and poverty due to droughts and floods as a result of a climatic occurrence: El Niño. This phenomenon is not an individual weather event but a climate pattern which occurs every two to seven years and lasts 9-12 months. No two El Niño events are ever the same and it is thought that this particular occurrence could be the most powerful on record. The strongest El Niño in 1997/1998 killed some 21,000 people and caused damage to infrastructure worth US$ 36 billion. According to the World Bank, El Niño is likely to have a negative impact in more isolated local food markets, and many countries are already seeing an increase in prices. Food Security Cluster partners have put preparedness actions in place and are already responding in countries where the effects have materialised, such as Somalia, Ethiopia, Papua New Guinea, and throughout Central America. The global Food Security Cluster is providing support to WFP, FAO, and food security partners through continual monitoring of information, and dissemination of such data to stakeholders for El Niño affected countries, ensuring that country level coordination mechanisms are well equipped to employ preparedness actions and responses, advocating for additional resources to affected countries, and support to country level clusters through surge missions.