Urgent humanitarian assistance and access needed in Yemen, South Sudan, and Somalia
Conflict in Yemen is the primary driver of the largest food security emergency in the world, with 7 to 10 million people in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), or worse, and in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. Of this total, at least two million people are in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and face an increased risk of mortality. In addition to the impact of conflict on household livelihoods, market functioning, and humanitarian access, the deteriorating macroeconomic situation is affecting the private sector’s ability to import food. In a worst-case scenario, where food imports drop substantially for a sustained period of time or where conflict persistently prevents the flow of food to local markets, Famine (IPC Phase 5) is possible.
In South Sudan, food insecurity has remained atypically severe during the harvest. As a result of civil insecurity, the fall in oil revenues, record high food prices, and limited humanitarian access, nearly one-third of the population requires emergency food assistance. In a worst-case scenario where conflict intensifies and humanitarian access is further limited, Famine (IPC Phase 5), marked by high levels of excess mortality, is possible. Unity State, where displaced households already face an extreme lack of food, is the area of greatest concern.
In much of Somalia, southeastern Ethiopia, and parts of northeastern Kenya, well below-average cereal production, coupled with deteriorating livestock productivity in pastoral areas, is expected to significantly increase the number of people in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4). In a worst-case scenario in Somalia, where the 2017 Gu season performs very poorly, purchasing power declines to levels seen in 2010/11, and humanitarian assistance is unable to reach populations in need, Famine (IPC Phase 5) would be expected.
Consecutive below-average seasons in 2016 in bi-modal areas of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and Tanzania are likely to lead to a deterioration of food security through the next harvests in July. Limited harvests, deteriorating livestock body conditions, constrained access to agricultural labor, and above-average food prices have eroded household purchasing capacity. Increased populations are expected to move from Stressed (IPC Phase 2) to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in Kenya and Burundi, in the absence of humanitarian assistance. The refugee population in Rwanda is expected to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), and those in Tanzania will likely move to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) by March, due to funding shortfalls.