GIEWS - Global Information and Early Warning System

Countries requiring external assistance for food

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. GIEWS updates this list four times a year.

December 2019
  (total: 42 countries)
Nature of Food Insecurity
Main Reasons
Changes from last report
Conflict, displacements and food supply constraints
  • The number of severely food insecure people has decreased consistently since September 2018. According to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis, an estimated 1.6 million people were in IPC Phase 3: “Crisis” and above. Of these, about 375 000 people were estimated to be in IPC Phase 4: “Emergency", as of September 2019, mainly located in the areas with high concentrations of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
Consecutive unfavourable rainy seasons
  • About 3.1 million people are severely food insecure, mainly located in northern and eastern areas as a result of the cumulative impact of poor 2018 October-December “short‑rains” and severe dryness during most of the 2019 March‑May “long-rains” season.
  • As of early November, about 144 000 individuals had been affected by floods, which were triggered by torrential rains since October.
Conflict, civil insecurity and consecutive unfavourable rainy seasons
  • About 2.1 million people are estimated to be in need of emergency assistance, mainly agro‑pastoral and pastoral communities affected by poor 2018 October December “Deyr” rains and severe dryness during most of the 2019 April‑June “Gu” season.
  • As of mid-November, floods, which were triggered by torrential rains since October, affected about 540 000 people, of whom about 370 000 have been displaced.
Reduced cereal availability and extremely high food prices
  • The number of food insecure people has risen significantly in 2019/20. The figure is projected to almost double to 5.5 million people on a yearly basis in the January‑March 2020 period.
  • The deterioration in food insecurity results from a sharply reduced cereal harvest in 2019, significantly high staple food prices and a poor economic environment that has diminished income-generating opportunities. The outlook for the 2020 crops is unfavourable due to poor weather forecasts, heightening the likelihood of a second consecutive reduced cereal harvest.
Civil insecurity, economic downturn and localized crop production shortfalls
  • Disruptions to markets, farming activities and livelihoods, coupled with limited humanitarian assistance and declining food import capacity, continue to seriously affect food security conditions.
  • About 1.72 million people were estimated to be severely food insecure in late 2018 (latest available information).
Civil insecurity
  • According to the last “Cadre Harmonisé”, about 594 000 people were estimated to be food insecure between October and December 2019.
  • Nearly 170 280 people remained internally displaced, almost entirely on account of the insurgency in the northeast. In addition, the country hosts about 438 000 refugees.
Conflict and displacements in eastern and southern areas straining resources of host communities
  • Following an explosion of violence in June in the Ituri Province, about 300 000 people were displaced in Ituri and North Kivu provinces. Overall, 1.5 million IDPs were located in North Kivu Province as of October 2019, straining the already limited resources of the host communities.
  • The Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) continues to be a growing and serious concern. As of November, WHO reported that a total of 3 291 people have been affected, of which nearly 2 193 have died.
Impact of consecutive unfavourable rainy seasons on pastoral livelihoods
  • About 150 000 people were estimated to be severely food insecure in 2018 (latest available information) in rural areas, due to consecutive unfavourable rainy seasons.
Economic constraints have increased the population’s vulnerability to food insecurity
Impact of drought on local livelihood systems
  • An estimated 6.7 million people were estimated to be severely food insecure in early 2019, mainly in eastern agricultural areas and in northern and southeastern agro pastoral areas due to poor 2019 “Karan/Belg/Gu/Genna” seasonal rains between early and mid-2019.
  • As of mid-November, about 205 000 people have been displaced in southern and eastern areas due to floods triggered by torrential rains since October.
Civil conflict
  • According to the last “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis, about 1.4 million people in the October-December 2019 period are assessed to be in need of immediate humanitarian assistance.
  • Due to the civil conflict in neighbouring states, the country hosts 218 261 refugees, of which 161 359 are from Nigeria and 56 000 are from Mali, while an estimated 187 359 people are internally displaced.
Persisting conflict in northern areas
  • According to the last “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis, about 4 million people were assessed to be in need of humanitarian assistance between October and December 2019.
  • Due to persisting civil insecurity, over 2.3 million people are internally displaced. The areas inaccessible to humanitarian interventions are facing the worse food security conditions.
Conflict, civil insecurity and severe economic downturn
  • Despite sustained humanitarian assistance, food insecurity still affects large segments of the population, driven by insufficient food supplies, an economic downturn, trade disruptions and high food prices.
  • The number of severely food insecure people was projected in August to decline from 6.35 million to 4.54 million between September and December 2019. However, the current food insecure caseload is likely to be substantially higher, as widespread floods triggered by torrential rains in September and October affected about 900 000 individuals, of whom about 420 000 have been displaced, and resulted in significant crop and livestock losses.
  • In October 2019 the number of internally displaced people was estimated at 1.47 million.
Civil insecurity in the north
  • According to the last “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis, the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance was estimated at 1.2 million people for the October‑December 2019 period, mainly due to civil insecurity in the north.
  • An estimated 26 000 refugees, most of them from Mali, are living in the country, while about 486 000 individuals are internally displaced.
Poor performance of the 2019 agro pastoral cropping season
  • Based on the latest “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis, about 10 000 people (approximately 2 percent of the total population) were estimated to be in Phase 3: “Crisis” and above in the October‑December 2019 period.
Civil strife and influx of refugees putting strain on host communities
  • In the Far North Region, the number of IDPs rose from 246 000 people in November 2018 to 271 000 in October 2019.
  • In the Northwest and Southwest regions, 542 000 people were internally displaced as of October 2019.
  • The country also hosts about 109 000 refugees from Nigeria and 293 000 refugees from the Central African Republic, as at the end of October.
Influx of refugees straining the already limited resources of host communities
  • The country is estimated to host about 20 000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and about 22 000 refugees from the Central African Republic.
  • Host communities, mainly in the northern and eastern areas of the country, face food shortages and limited livelihood opportunities, and refugees’ food security is essentially guaranteed by continued humanitarian assistance.
Localized production shortfalls
  • About 232 400 people are estimated to be in need of humanitarian assistance between October 2019 and March 2020, up from an estimated 166 000 people estimated for the corresponding period in 2018/19.
  • The lower cereal harvest, on account of adverse weather conditions, is the main cause of the aggravated food security situation.
Localized shortfalls of cereal production
  • About 72 000 people are estimated to be in need of food assistance during October to December 2019.
Reduced cereal production
  • An estimated 433 410 people (about 30 percent of the rural population) are estimated to be food insecure between October 2019 and March 2020, up from the previous year’s number.
  • The aggravated food security situation was mostly caused by the weather-driven decline in cereal production. An estimated 433 410 people (about 30 percent of the rural population) are estimated to be food insecure between October 2019 and March 2020, up from the previous year’s number.
High food prices
  • According to the last “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis, about 41 000 people are estimated to be in Phase 3: “Crisis” and above in the June-August 2019 period. The country is hosting approximately 8 700 refugees.
Civil insecurity
  • The total number of people in need of humanitarian assistance is estimated at 0.82 million (11 percent of the population), of which 0.3 million persons require food assistance. Refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced are among the most vulnerable.
Constrained access to food
  • Nearly 1 million people are assessed to be food insecure, mostly located in the vulnerable southern regions. This number is, however, below the estimated figure from the previous year, reflecting a larger cereal harvest in 2019 and consequently improved food availability.
Localized production shortfalls
  • The number of people assessed to be food insecure has declined in 2019/20, on account of a larger agricultural output, which improved households’ food availability.
  • However, an estimated 1.1 million people, mostly located in southern districts, require assistance between October 2019 and March 2020, due to localized production shortfalls, while higher staple food prices are constraining access to food.
Persistent civil insecurity
  • The country is hosting approximately 27 000 refugees, while 199 000 internally displaced people and 74 000 returnees rely on humanitarian assistance.
  • About 648 000 people are estimated to be in need of food assistance between October and December 2019, according to the most recent “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis, as a result of the persisting civil conflict.
Reduced availability of pasture
  • According to the last “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis, about 299 000 people were assessed to be in need of assistance between October and December 2019.
  • About 58 000 refugees, mostly from Mali, reside in the country.
Cyclone damage and production shortfalls
  • The impact of two major cyclones and severe dry conditions resulted in an increase in food insecurity in central and southern regions.
  • In total, an estimated 1.9 million people are assessed to be food insecure.
Localized shortfalls in cereal production
  • According to the last “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis, about 359 000 people are estimated to be in need of assistance between October and December 2019.
  • An estimated 14 500 refugees, mostly from Mauritania, are residing in the country.
High food prices
  • About 254 000 people are estimated to be severely food insecure during October‑December 2019.
Conflict, civil insecurity and soaring food prices
  • The number of severely food insecure people was estimated at 5.8 million for the June‑August 2019 period, mainly IDPs and host communities in conflict affected areas. Vulnerable households, affected by soaring food prices, are also of concern.
  • As of early September, about 426 000 individuals have been affected by floods.
Localized crop production shortfalls and refugee influx
  • About 500 000 people are estimated to be severely food insecure in eastern Teso Region and northeastern Karamoja Region in early 2019 (latest available information).
  • About 855 000 refugees from South Sudan and about 390 000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo are hosted in camps and rely on humanitarian assistance.
Reduced agricultural output and high food prices
  • An estimated 2.3 million people are food insecure and in need of assistance, mainly as a result of the reduced 2019 cereal harvest and higher food prices.
  • At the regional level, southern and western parts are facing the highest prevalence of food insecurity, corresponding to areas that suffered prolonged periods of dry weather conditions and consequently reduced harvests. 
Civil conflict
  • About 6.5 million people are estimated to be food insecure and in need of food and livelihood support. An additional 2.5 million people are at risk of food insecurity and need livelihood support to strengthen their resilience.
  • Although some international food assistance is being provided, Syrian refugees are also straining host communities' resources in neighbouring countries.
Production shortfalls of the 2019 main season crops and economic downturn
  • The 2019 main season food crop production is estimated below the five‑year average due to rainfall deficits and reduced water supplies for irrigation earlier in the year and, more recently, localized flooding that damaged standing crops.
  • According to a joint FAO/WFP rapid Food Security Assessment Mission, conducted in April, 10.1 million people (40 percent of the total population) are estimated to be in urgent need of food assistance.
Conflict, poverty and high food and fuel prices
  • The IPC hot-spot analysis, carried out in April 2019 in 29 out of the 45 most affected districts, assessed that about 1.25 million people were severely food insecure (IPC Phases 3 "Crisis"and 4 "Emergency" combined), down from an estimated 1.55 million reported in December 2018 for those districts only.  About 20 million people would be food insecure in the absence of sustained food assistance.
Civil conflict and population displacement
  • Between August and October 2019, 10.23 million people (one-third of the total population) were in severe acute food insecurity, including 7.8 million in IPC Phase: 3 "Crisis situation and 2.4 million in IPC Phase: 4 "Emergency". Continuing conflict, natural hazards and limited economic opportunities have increased the vulnerability of the poorest households, including subsistence farmers.
Civil conflict and population displacement
  • According to the latest figures from UNHCR (September 2019), about 915 000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar were sheltering in Bangladesh, mainly in the Cox’s Bazar District. Most refugees fled to Bangladesh following the resurgence of violence in Rakhine State in Myanmar in late August 2017. The large number of refugees have also put a strain on local resources and, as a result, humanitarian assistance is also required to meet the needs of host communities; about 336 000 Bangladeshis are estimated to be in need of assistance.
Civil conflict
  • An estimated 1.8 million people remained internally displaced.
  • About 1.77 million people, mostly IDPs and returnees, are in need of food security and livelihood assistance.
Conflict in parts of Kachin, Shan and Rakhine states
  • Persistent conflicts in Rakhine, Chin, Kachin and northern Shan states have triggered large-scale internal population displacement particularly since 2017. Most IDPs are affected by high levels of food insecurity as conflicts are hampering the free movement of people and their engagement in livelihood activities. 
Population displacement
  • The country hosts close to 1.4 million registered and unregistered Afghan refugees. Most of these people are in need of humanitarian assistance and have strained the already limited resources of the host communities.
Severe economic crisis
  • Amidst the severe and protracted economic crisis, the number of refugees and migrants from Venezuela is estimated at 4.6 million persons. They have settled in neighbouring countries in South America and the Caribbean. Humanitarian needs to assist residents in Venezuela and refugees and migrants in host countries are significant.
  • On account of hyper inflation, purchasing power has been severely eroded, resulting in acute constraints on households’ access to food. In addition, cereal production in 2019 is expected to decline from last year’s already low level, mostly reflecting the lack of agricultural inputs.
Prolonged dry spells and high inflation
  • About 3.67 million people were forecast to be facing severe acute food insecurity and thus in need of urgent food assistance as of October 2019, due to the adverse impact of dry spells on cereal production (especially maize), coupled with high food prices, including mostly imported rice, due to a significant increase in inflation rate.