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COVID-19 Food Security and Nutrition Alert (30 March 2020)


The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is likely to exacerbate existing food crises in the East Africa region and drive worsening food security and nutritional outcomes. Given the high level of uncertainty relating to both on the trajectory of the virus’ spread and the severity of economic impacts at global, national, and subnational levels, an in-depth analysis of a most-likely food security and nutrition scenario is not yet available. However, in the meantime, FSNWG calls upon all concerned partners to be aware of and prepare for the possibility of increasing food and nutrition insecurity in the region given the effects of this pandemic on local livelihoods, markets, and the delivery of basic public health services.

FSNWG will be closely monitoring this rapidly evolving situation and will provide regular updates and more detailed analyses as additional information becomes available.


  • Global: Though the situation is rapidly evolving and caseload figures are imprecise given current testing levels, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports a total of 634,835 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 29,957 related deaths across 172 countries, as of the 29 March. The current crude mortality ratio is 4.7%, which is significantly higher than that observed for the seasonal flu (<1%).

  • East Africa region: Two hundred and thirty-two confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported in countries covered by the FSNWG. However, caseloads in the region are rapidly increasing (Figure 1) and local transmission has been reported in a number of countries.