An El Niño event has been occurring since March 2015 and is steadily strengthening as it approaches its maximum intensity in late 2015. This El Niño is forecasted to peak in December, before gradually ending in early 2016. There are indications that it could become one of the most intense El Niños of the past 30 years.
The effects of El Niño will likely be felt throughout 2016. Over the next 12 months, El Niño could potentially affect the food security of a large number of already vulnerable people who are dependent on agriculture and livestock for their livelihood in Central America, most of Sub- Saharan Africa and South and South East Asia.
In grain-producing countries, El Niño related affects could lead to higher and more volatile commodity prices and jeopardize the fragile food security of the people WFP assists. Further impacts may be exacerbated by conflict and other factors such as urbanization and land degradation.
Effects will be more severe for communities that are already suffering from the cumulative impact of prior poor growing seasons. Some food-insecure families have already been adopting a range of negative coping strategies. These include skipping meals, selling off their assets and pulling children out of school. WFP is closely monitoring the current El Niño, and preparing for, and responding to, its effects.