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October 2014

COUNTRIES REQUIRING EXTERNAL ASSISTANCE FOR FOOD
(total: 36 countries)

Countries in crisis requiring external assistance for food are expected to lack the resources to deal with reported critical problems of food insecurity. The list below covers crises related to lack of food availability, widespread lack of access to food, or severe but localized problems. However, many countries are also severely affected by high food and fuel prices. These include countries which are large net importers of cereals and fuels, with generally low per capita incomes, relatively high levels of malnutrition, and for which there is a strong transmission of high international food prices1.
 
Click on country to see details in the GIEWS Country Briefs

AFRICA ( 26 countries )

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Nature of Food InsecurityMain ReasonsChanges from last report2
Exceptional shortfall in aggregate food production/supplies
Central African Republic
Despite some improvements, mainly due to humanitarian assistance, the food situation in 2014 remains serious due to continued conflict and displacements. The number of people in need of food assistance was estimated in April 2014 at about 1.7 million, out of a total population of 4.6 million. The IDP caseload, as of mid-August, was estimated at 509 000 persons. Furthermore, crop production in 2014, despite an 11 percent increase from the sharply reduced 2013 output, is estimated to be 58 percent below average.
Widespread lack of access
Burkina Faso
A massive influx of refugees from Mali has put additional pressure on local food supplies. Over 33 000 Malian refugees are estimated to be living in the country as of September 2014.
Chad
Influx of refugees, estimated at over 461 000 people from the Sudan’s Darfur region, the Central African Republic and northern Nigeria, and the return of an estimated 340 000 Chadians, have put additional pressure on the local food supply negatively affecting food security.
Djibouti
About 90 000 people are severely food insecure, mainly in pastoral southeastern areas and in the Obock region, due to a succession of three poor rainy seasons and reduced access to humanitarian assistance.
Eritrea
Vulnerability to food insecurity due to economic constraints.
Guinea
The Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak has disrupted markets, farming activities and livelihoods, seriously affecting the food security situation of large numbers of people.
Liberia
The EVD outbreak has disrupted markets, farming activities and livelihoods, seriously affecting the food security situation of large numbers of people.
Mali
Insecurity in northern areas has resulted in large population displacement, worsening the already precarious food security situation created by previous droughts and floods. Over 1.9 million people, located mostly in the northern part of the country, were estimated to be in Phase 3: “Crisis” according to the last “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis.
Mauritania
More than 54 700 Malian refugees were still living in southeastern Mauritania as of September 2014. Moreover, Mauritania continues to be affected by relatively high domestic food prices. Over 367 000 people are estimated to be in Phase 3: “Crisis” and above according to the last “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis.
Niger
The country has been struck by successive severe food crises in recent years that resulted in the depletion of household assets and high level of indebtedness. Over 51 000 Malian refugees are estimated to be living in the country as of September 2014. About 2.2 million people are estimated to be in Phase 3: “Crisis” and above according to the last “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis conducted in March 2014.
Sierra Leone
The EVD outbreak has disrupted markets, farming activities and livelihoods, negatively affecting the food security situation of large numbers of people.
Zimbabwe
Food security conditions improved in 2014, with a 78 percent decrease in the number of food insecure persons between October and December compared to the same period in 2013, attributed to the larger cereal output and lower food prices. However, an estimated 331 000 people still require assistance.
Severe localized food insecurity
Cameroon
In North and Far North regions, recurrent climatic shocks in recent years have negatively impacted agricultural activities causing a deterioration in the food security situation. In addition, the number of refugees from the CAR which entered mainly East, Adamaoua and North regions was estimated at 237 000 in late September 2014, while 39 000 refugees from Nigeria entered mainly the Far North region since May 2013.
Congo
Significant food security problems are faced by a large number of households. In addition, as of early September 2014, about 19 000 refugees from the CAR are sheltering in the country.
Côte d'Ivoire
Conflict related damage to agriculture in recent years and the lack of support services, mainly in the northern regions.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The number of people in need of urgent humanitarian assistance in conflict-affected eastern provinces was estimated in June 2014 at about 4.1 million, 8 percent up from the 3.8 million estimated in December 2013. As of June 2013, the total number of IDPs was estimated at more than 2.5 million, while the refugees from CAR and the returnees from the Republic of the Congo were estimated in July and September at 67 000 and 185 000, respectively.
Ethiopia
The number of people in need of humanitarian assistance is stable at 2.4 million.
Lesotho
Food security conditions remain strained, with an estimated 447 760 people requiring assistance.
Madagascar
Food security remains severe in southern regions, following a successive poor cereal harvest in 2014. However, improved conditions were estimated in central and northern parts, reflecting production gains in these regions, while lower prices compared to 2013 has improved access.
Malawi
Significantly improved food security conditions at the national level, reflecting the larger 2014 maize output. An estimated 640 000 people require assistance compared to 1.5 million in the previous year. Stressed food security conditions prevail in localized areas that suffered a dry spell and consequently reduced harvests.
Mozambique
Overall, food security conditions improved. An estimated 150 000 people require assistance, mainly due to a weather-depressed cereal production. This figure is approximately 100 000 below the level of 2013.
Senegal
Cereal production in 2013 was estimated to be 15 percent below the average. Another below-average crop is expected this year. About 2.9 million people are estimated to be at risk of food insecurity this year.
Somalia
Over 1 million people are estimated to be in need of emergency assistance, mainly IDPs and poor households in southern and central areas.
South Sudan
The number of severely food insecure people has decreased from 3.9 to 2.2 million, including 1.3 million IDPs, due to the availability of newly-harvested crops and the delivery of humanitarian aid.
Sudan
The number of people estimated to be in need of humanitarian assistance, mainly IDPs in conflict-affected areas, has increased to 5.3 million.
Uganda
About 100 000 people in Karamoja region are estimated to be severely food insecure following two years of below-average crop production.
   No change    Improving    Deteriorating+ New entry

ASIA ( 7 countries )

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Nature of Food InsecurityMain ReasonsChanges from last report2
Exceptional shortfall in aggregate food production/supplies
Iraq
Conflict escalation, together with large internal displacements, coincided with winter crop harvesting and seriously compromised the final output. Nearly 2.8 million people were displaced within Iraq, nearly 1.8 million of whom have been displaced since January 2014.
Syrian Arab Republic
Due to worsening civil conflict, 6.3 million people are estimated to be facing severe food insecurity. Although some international food assistance is provided, the Syrian refugees are also putting strain on other countries in the region.
Widespread lack of access
Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Despite generally good aggregate cereal harvests for the fourth consecutive year in 2014/15, some 16 million people remain at risk of food insecurity. The food system in the DPRK remains highly vulnerable to shocks and serious shortages exist particularly in the production of protein-rich crops. Economic constraints and lack of agricultural inputs are leading to inadequate food production and aggravated food insecurity.
Yemen
The severely food-insecure population in need of emergency food assistance is estimated at 4.5 million people (18 percent of the population), as a result of high levels of prolonged conflict, poverty, high food and fuel prices.
Severe localized food insecurity
Afghanistan
Some groups, particularly IDPs displaced by the conflict, returnees from Pakistan and natural disaster-affected households continue to face high levels of food insecurity.
Kyrgyzstan
The situation is stable and has significantly improved. Some concerns still exist with high food prices combined with poverty and uncertainty with this year’s cereal harvest.
   No change    Improving    Deteriorating+ New entry

LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN ( 3 countries )

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Nature of Food InsecurityMain ReasonsChanges from last report2
Exceptional shortfall in aggregate food production/supplies
El Salvador
Drought conditions during the 2014 main first season, accounting for more than half of annual production, have significantly reduced supplies of maize and beans, causing severe shortages. Around 96 000 families have been severely affected and are in need of assistance.+
Honduras
Drought conditions during the 2014 main first season, accounting for more than half of annual production, have significantly reduced supplies of maize and beans causing severe shortages. The affected population is estimated at 76 712 families of small farmers.+
Severe localized food insecurity
Guatemala
Drought conditions during the 2014 main first season, accounting for more than half of annual production, have significantly reduced supplies of maize and beans, causing severe shortages. Official estimates point to 268 000 families being affected and the Government has appealed for international assistance.+
   No change    Improving    Deteriorating+ New entry

 

COUNTRIES WITH UNFAVOURABLE PROSPECTS FOR CURRENT CROPS
(total: 2 countries)

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CountryMain ReasonsChanges from last report2
AFRICA ( 2 countries )
KenyaBelow-average cereal production expected in western key cropping areas due to a series of dry spells and high incidence of pests and diseases, including some outbreaks of the Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease (MLND).+
Uganda(Karamoja region)Cereal crop production in agro-pastoral areas of Karamoja region is forecast at below-average levels following reduced plantings due to unfavourable rains in April and significant water deficits in eastern parts of the region.+
   No change    Improving    Deteriorating+ New entry

TERMINOLOGY

Countries requiring external assistance for food are expected to lack the resources to deal with reported critical problems of food insecurity. Food crises are nearly always due to a combination of factors, but for the purpose of response planning, it is important to establish whether the nature of food crises is predominantly related to lack of food availability, limited access to food, or severe but localized problems. Accordingly, the list of countries requiring external assistance is organized into three broad, not mutually exclusive, categories:

  • Countries facing an exceptional shortfall in aggregate food production/supplies as a result of crop failure, natural disasters, interruption of imports, disruption of distribution, excessive post-harvest losses, or other supply bottlenecks.

  • Countries with widespread lack of access, where a majority of the population is considered to be unable to procure food from local markets, due to very low incomes, exceptionally high food prices, or the inability to circulate within the country.

  • Countries with severe localized food insecurity due to the influx of refugees, a concentration of internally displaced persons, or areas with combinations of crop failure and deep poverty.

Unfavourable Prospects for Current Crops are countries where prospects point to a shortfall in production of current crops as a result of a reduction of the area planted and/or yields due to adverse weather conditions, plant pests, diseases and other calamities.


1. See, for example, Soaring food prices: facts, perspectives, impacts and actions required, page 17, table 4.
2. Crop Prospects and Food Situation, No. 2, July 2014
The maps on the GIEWS homepage indicate countries in crisis requiring external assistance for food.