WFP El Niño 2015-2016: Preparedness and Response Situation Report #4, 24 May 2016

Report
from World Food Programme
Published on 24 May 2016

IN NUMBERS

60 MILLION people affected globally at present.

32 MILLION people food insecure in Southern Africa.

10.2 MILLION people in Ethiopia need emergency food assistance.

50 PERCENT crop losses in Haiti due to El Niño-influenced drought.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • With its onset in early 2015, the current El Niño event is one of the strongest on record.
    At present, it has affected an estimated 60 million people globally and their food security is severely impacted.

  • Despite the weather phenomenon winding down in the second quarter of 2016, the number of people affected is expected to increase through to early 2017.

  • WFP is rapidly scaling up relief operations but resources are stretched.

SITUATION UPDATE

  • With its onset in early 2015, the current El Niño event is one of the strongest on record. At present, it has affected an estimated 60 million people globally. Despite the weather phenomenon winding down in the second quarter of 2016, the number of people affected is expected to increase through to early 2017.

  • Food security of vulnerable populations is severely impacted. Particular areas of concern include nearly all of Southern Africa which is the hardest hit region; Ethiopia and its neighbours Somalia and Sudan in East Africa; Central America’s ‘dry corridor’, nearby Haiti and the northern region of South America while floods affect the southern region; and many of Asia’s island nations including Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Philippines.

  • Countries will continue coping with the effects on harvests and livestock through the end of 2016, with the humanitarian impact expected to increase. In some locations, the current droughts and adverse weather conditions have only added to consecutive harvest failures, in some cases for the second or third successive time.

  • El Niño is expected to aggravate the already serious chronic malnutrition situation in particular for hardhit communities and for vulnerable groups such as young children and the elderly. Reduced food access, resulting from falling food production and food price increases, will reduce dietary diversity.
    This will impact the quality of infant and young child feeding and increase the risk of acute malnutrition. Access to essential protein and iron-rich foods may also be reduced, particularly in rural areas, as a result of drought impact on livestock.