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Global Food Security Update, Issue 17 - March 2015

Situation Report
Originally published
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Tracking food security trends in vulnerable countries

The Global Food Security Update provides a quarterly overview of key food security trends in vulnerable countries. Information is provided by WFP VAM field teams and partners.

In focus

  • Conflict in Iraq has disrupted food markets, leading to price hikes in Anbar, Salah Al-Din and Kirkuk. According to the 2014-2015 Strategic Response Plan, around 5.2 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, and over 2.5 million people are currently displaced.

  • In Syria, 9.8 million people require food, agriculture and livelihoods-related assistance, according to the Food Security and Livelihoods sector analysis. Of these, around 6.8 million people live in high priority districts and need critical food assistance.

  • In South Sudan, 2.5 million people are facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4) levels of food insecurity because conflict has displaced the population, reduced food production and disrupted markets. Phase 4 Emergency conditions now prevail in parts of Jonglei and Unity.

  • Floods have displaced 230,000 people in Malawi, 50,000 in Mozambique and 39,000 in Madagascar, in locations already vulnerable to food and nutrition security.

  • The Ebola epidemic in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone has disrupted markets and trade and led to increasing food insecurity. According to the Cadre Harmonisé, as of March, 1.2 million people are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), a figure that is expected to rise to 2.2 million in June.

  • Conflict in northern Nigeria is leading to massive population displacement, disrupted markets and insecurity in bordering areas of Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

  • The ‘short rains’ (‘Deyr’) season of late 2014 has performed poorly across East Africa. North-east Kenya and southern Somalia have been affected by persistently drier than average conditions. This compounds the effect of significant rainfall deficits during previous seasons, resulting in extended longterm dryness affecting pastoralist resources.

  • South Africa’s first maize production forecast estimates the 2015 harvest to be the worst in 8 years, with a drop of 21 percent relative to the five-year average and 32 percent less than last year’s bumper crop.

  • Drought in Central America has left 2.1 million people food insecure. The affected people will require more food assistance than usual until the next harvest in August.

  • Tropical Cyclone Pam made landfall on March 13 near the islands of Vanuatu with sustained wind speeds of 270 km/h. Initial estimates of humanitarian impact suggest large devastation, with about 170,000 people, of which 20,000 were identified as poor, being affected.