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.

March 2021
  (total: 45 countries)
Nature of Food Insecurity
Main Reasons
Changes from last report
Conflict, population displacements
  • Armed violence connected to the 27 December 2020 elections resulted in internal displacement of over 240 000 people since mid‑December. By early February 2021, about half had returned home, but over 117 000 people remained displaced. An additional 105 000 people had fled the country, mostly to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • According to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis, the number of severely food insecure people (IP Phase 3 and above) is estimated at 1.9 million in the September 2020‑April 2021 period.
Floods, desert locusts
  • About 850 000 people were estimated to be severely food insecure in the October‑December 2020 period in rural arid and semi-arid lands that cover most of the country, down from 3.1 million people in late 2019 due to consecutive favourable rainy seasons. By contrast, the food security situation deteriorated in urban areas, where about 1 million people are estimated to be food insecure due to the socio-economic impact of the pandemic on the livelihoods of vulnerable households.
Floods, civil insecurity, desert locusts
  • About 1.6  million people are estimated to be in need of emergency assistance in the January‑March 2021 period.
Below-average cereal harvest, high food prices and economic downturn
  • An estimated 3.38 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance until the end of March 2021, primarily on account of the reduced agricultural output in 2020, significantly high food prices and income losses due to the effects of the economic downturn.
Floods, landslides
  • About 1.33 million people were estimated to be severely food insecure in the October‑December 2020 period, mainly due to livelihood losses caused by floods and landslides, and as a result of the socio‑economic impact of the pandemic on the livelihoods of vulnerable households.
Civil insecurity
  • According to the latest “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis, about 1.14 million people are projected to be in Phase 3: “Crisis” and above in the June‑August 2021 period due to persisting insecurity in Lac and Tibesti regions which continues to disrupt livelihood activities and to cause population displacements.
  • About 336 124 people were displaced due to insecurity in Lake Chad Region. In addition, nearly 488 801 refugees from the Central African Republic, Nigeria and the Sudan reside in the country due to conflicts
Persisting civil insecurity
  • According to the latest IPC analysis, published in September 2020, 19.6 million people (33 percent of the analyzed population) are estimated to be severely food insecure in the first semester of 2021, 10 percent below the high figure estimated for the July‑December 2020 period. The decline is mainly attributable to a modest recovery of economic activities and the improved food availability in this period of the year.
  • Fighting in neighbouring Central African Republic in early 2021 resulted in an influx of about 92 000 refugees into the northern provinces of North Ubangi, South Ubangi and Bas Uele.
Floods
  • About 194 000 people are estimated to be severely food insecure in the January‑August 2021 period, mainly due to livelihood losses caused by floods and landslides, and as a result of the socio‑economic impact of the pandemic on the livelihoods of vulnerable households.
Macro-economic challenges have increased the population's vulnerability to food insecurity
High food prices, floods, desert locusts, insecurity, impact of previous droughts
  • About 12.9 million people are estimated to be severely food insecure between January and June 2021 mainly in SNNP, Oromia, Somali and Afar regions. The main drivers are: localized crop and pasture losses due to locust infestations, high food prices and the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on incomes and food prices. Humanitarian needs have sharply increased in Tigray Region after the conflict erupted in November 2020.
Civil conflict
  • According to the latest “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis, about 1.7 million people are assessed to need humanitarian assistance between June and August 2021 due to the increase in security incidents which have resulted in widespread disruption of agricultural and marketing activities, diminishing livelihood opportunities of households and their food security.
  • An estimated 298 458 people have been displaced in Diffa, Tahoua and Tillabery regions due to civil conflicts. In addition, the country hosts almost 233 131 refugees, mainly from Nigeria and Mali.
Persisting conflict in northern areas
  • According to the latest “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis, about 12.9 million people are assessed to need humanitarian assistance between June and August 2021 as a result of a worsening conflict that is driving new population displacements, especially in the northeast, northwest and northcentral regions. Over 2.7 million people are estimated to be internally displaced in northeastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, due to communal clashes in northwest/northcentral zones and natural disasters. The areas inaccessible to humanitarian interventions are facing the worst food insecurity conditions.
Economic downturn, civil insecurity, floods, lingering impact of prolonged conflict
  • Despite sustained humanitarian assistance, food insecurity still affects large segments of the population, driven by insufficient food supplies, an economic downturn, high food prices, widespread floods and the negative impact of restrictive measures related to the COVID‑19 pandemic. About 5.82 million people (48 percent of the total population) are estimated to be severely food insecure in the December 2020‑March 2021 period.
  • Particular concern exists for Jonglei State and neighbouring Pibor Administrative Area, where 78 percent of the population is estimated to be severely food insecure and 11 000 individuals are facing IPC Phase 5: “Catastrophe” levels, after two consecutive years of widespread flooding resulting in severe livelihood losses.
Civil insecurity in the north
  • According to the latest "Cadre Harmonisé" analysis, about 2.7 million people are estimated to need humanitarian assistance between June and August 2021. In Centre-Nord and Sahel regions, insecurity continues to cause population displacements, further deteriorating the food security situation.
  • Due to the conflict, about 1.07 million people have been displaced, of which 50 percent live in Centre Nord Region. In addition, about 20 250 refugees, mostly from Mali, are still residing in Sahel Region.
Lingering effects of drought
  • 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 June‑August 2020 period.
Civil insecurity, population displacements
  • According to the October 2020 "Cadre Harmonisé" analysis, about 2.7 million people were estimated to be severely food insecure (Phase 3 or above) in the October‑December 2020 period, well above the previous year’s level. This is mainly the result of conflict, socio‑political unrest, flooding and COVID‑19-related economic shocks.
  • In Far North Region, incursions by Boko Haram increased by 55 percent in 2020 compared to the previous year and triggered new population displacements.
Floods
  • The Government of Congo declared a state of humanitarian emergency on 3 November 2020, after torrential rains in the north of the country triggered flooding, causing population displacements as well as extensive crop and livestock losses. In these areas, at the end of December, the number of flood-affected people was estimated at 168 000.
  • The Likoula Department hosts 27 000 refugees from the Central African Republic and 21 000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Localized shortfalls in production, reduction in income-generating activities
  • Between October 2020 and March 2021, an estimated 366 000 people are food insecure and in need of humanitarian assistance, above the estimate for the same period in 2019/20. The deterioration reflects localized shortfalls in cereal production, high food prices and the loss of income-generating activities due to the COVID‑19-induced economic downturn.  
Localized shortfalls of cereal production
  • About 267 000 people are estimated to be in need of food assistance during the June‑August 2021 period. In addition, over 5 500 refugees are residing in the country.
Localized shortfalls in production, loss of income-generating activities
  • Between October 2020 and March 2021, an estimated 582 000 people are facing acute food insecurity, 10 percent higher than the corresponding period in 2019/20. The deterioration reflects high food prices and the loss of income‑generating activities due to the economic downturn instigated by the COVID‑19 pandemic.

 

High food prices
  • According to the latest “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis, about 550 000 people are estimated to be in Phase 3: “Crisis” and above in the June‑August 2021 period due high food prices, including mostly imported rice and a significant increase in overall inflation. The country is also hosting approximately 8 200 refugees.   
Civil insecurity, economic and political instability, high food prices
  • The 2021 Humanitarian Needs Overview estimated the total number of people in need of humanitarian assistance at 1.3 million (23 percent of the population), of which 0.7 million require food assistance. Half of the people in need of humanitarian assistance are internally displaced or migrants that are residing in, or transiting through the country.
Drought in southern areas and limited income-earning opportunities
  • An estimated 1.35 million people are food insecure in southern and southeastern regions and require urgent humanitarian assistance at least up until April 2021. The poor conditions are also reflected in high rates of acute malnutrition among children in these regions. 
  • The impact of the COVID‑19 pandemic, particularly the loss of incomes due to the economic slowdown, successive below-average cereal outputs and the effects of a prevailing drought in 2021 are the key drivers of food insecurity.
Localized production shortfalls, economic slowdown
  • An estimated 2.62 million people are assessed to be food insecure between October 2020 and March 2021, of which 2 million live in rural areas and the remaining 600 000 in urban areas. Despite the upturn in cereal production in 2020, the effects of the COVID‑19 pandemic curtailed access to food through income losses, which has sustained the high levels of food insecurity.
Civil insecurity
  • According to the latest “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis, about 955 000 people are estimated to be in Phase 3: “Crisis” and above in the June‑August 2021 period as a result of the escalation of the conflict that continues to cause population displacements, combined with the impacts of the pandemic and weather shocks.
  • Over 311 193 people have been displaced in central and northern parts of the country. In addition, the country hosts approximately 47 000 refugees.   
Poor performance of agro-pastoral cropping season
  • According to the latest “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis, about 410 000 people are assessed to need humanitarian assistance between June and August 2021 as a result fodder production deficits in Trarza, Brakna, Gorgol, Guidimakha and Assaba districts.
  • About 67 622 refugees, mostly from Mali and who require assistance, reside in the country.
Economic downturn, localized shortfalls in staple food production, insecurity in northern areas
  • An estimated 2.9 million people require urgent humanitarian assistance, at least up until March 2021, reflecting the adverse impacts of income losses associated with the pandemic-induced economic downturn and shortfalls in staple food production in southern regions. Continued insecurity in northern areas has also severely aggravated conditions and led to large population displacements.
Localized shortfalls in staple food production, economic slowdown
  • About 441 000 people are estimated to be food insecure and in need of humanitarian assistance between October 2020 and March 2021.
  • Although the availability of food is adequate and stable, the negative effects of the COVID‑19 pandemic, primarily income and job losses, have constrained households’ access to food.
Localized shortfalls in cereal production
  • According to the latest “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis, about 850 000 people are estimated to need humanitarian assistance between June and August 2021 due to the effects of adverse weather events (drought and floods) on cereal and fodder production.
  • An estimated 14 500 refugees, mostly from Mauritania, are residing in the country.
High food prices
  • About 1.3 million people are estimated to be severely food insecure during the June-August 2021 period on account of high food prices and eroded purchasing power, resulting in acute constraints on households’ access to food.
Conflict, civil insecurity, floods, soaring food prices
  • The number of severely food insecure people was estimated at 7.1 million in the October December 2020 period. 
Floods, refugee influx

The number of severely food insecure people is estimated at 2 million in the September 2020-January 2021 period in Karamoja Region, urban areas, refugee settlements and host communities. In traditionally food secure urban areas, including the capital, Kampala, more than 600 000 people are food insecure due to the restrictive measures introduced to curb the spread of the COVID‑19 virus. 

About 891 000 refugees from South Sudan and about 423 000 from the Democratic Republic of the Congo are hosted in camps and rely on humanitarian assistance.  

Floods, refugee influx
  • About 499 000 people were estimated to be in need of emergency assistance in the May-September 2020 period, mainly in northeastern Manyara and Kilimanjaro regions and in central Dodoma and Singida regions, where 2019 harvests were affected by prolonged dry spells that resulted in significant cereal production losses.
Localized shortfalls in cereal production
  • The effects of the COVID‑19 pandemic have aggravated food insecurity across the country and its impacts have kept the number of people in need of assistance at similar levels to 2019/20, despite the larger cereal output in 2020 and lower prices. An estimated 2 million people are in need of assistance between October 2020 and March 2021.  
Financial and economic crisis
  • In August 2020, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia estimated that more than 55 percent of the population live in poverty, up from 28 percent in 2019. Current figures are likely to be higher due to a fall in households' purchasing power. 
Civil conflict, stagnant economy
  • A nationwide food security assessment estimates that about 12.4 million people (60 percent of the overall population) are now food insecure, 5.4 million more than at the end of 2019, mostly due to constrained livelihood opportunities and rapidly worsening economy.
  • Although some international food assistance is being provided, Syrian refugees are also pressuring host communities' resources in neighbouring countries. 
Low food consumption levels, poor dietary diversity, economic downturn and floods
  • A large portion of the population suffers from low levels of food consumption and very poor dietary diversity.
  • The economic constraints, particularly resulting from the global impact of the COVID‑19 pandemic, have increased the population’s vulnerability to food insecurity.
  • Floods, caused by several typhoons in August and early September 2020, affected large numbers of people in 2020 in southern parts.
Conflict, poverty, floods, high food and fuel prices
  • Between January and June 2021, the number of food insecure (IPC Phase 3 or above) is projected to increase by nearly 3 million to 16.2 million people. Out of these, an estimated 11 million people will likely be in IPC Phase 3:"Crisis", 5 million in IPC Phase 4: "Emergency" and the number of those in IPC Phase 5: "Catastrophe", will likely increase to 47 000.
Civil conflict, population displacement, economic slowdown
  • Between November 2020 and March 2021, about 13.15 million people (over two fifths of the total population) are estimated to be in severe acute food insecurity and require urgent humanitarian assistance, including 8.52 million people in IPC Phase 3: "Crisis" and 4.3 million people in IPC Phase 4: "Emergency".
Economic constraints, monsoon floods and high prices of the main staple food
  • Food insecurity poverty levels have increased due to income losses and a decline in remittances caused by the effects of the COVID‑19 pandemic.
  • Recurrent floods throughout 2020 caused damage to the agricultural sector and destroyed houses and infrastructure, further aggravating food insecurity conditions.
  • According to the latest figures from UNHCR (January 2021), about 860 000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar were sheltering in Bangladesh, mainly in Cox’s Bazar District.
  • Prices of rice, the country's main staple, reached near-record levels in most markets in January 2021, constraining access to food. 
Civil conflict, low oil prices, economic slowdown
  • The 2021 Humanitarian Needs Overview identified 4.1 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, of which 2.4 million have acute humanitarian needs. The number of severely food insecure people is estimated at about 435 000, while 731 000 are vulnerable to food insecurity. 
Conflict, political instability and economic constraints
  • The political crisis, following the military takeover on 1 February 2021, resulted in increased tensions and unrest throughout the country. The current uncertain political situation may further compromise the fragile situation of vulnerable households and the Rohingya IDPs residing in the country.
  • Persisting conflicts in Rakhine, Chin, Kachin, Kayin and Shan states have triggered large-scale population displacements particularly since 2017. An estimated 235 000 people, mostly women and children, were internally displaced, with the largest share of these IDPs sheltering in Rakhine and Kachin states.
  • Income losses and a decline in remittances, due to the impact of the COVID‑19 pandemic, has affected the food security situation of vulnerable households.
Population displacements, economic constraints
  • The country hosts close to 1.4 million registered and unregistered Afghan refugees. Most of these people are in need of humanitarian assistance and are straining the already limited resources of the host communities.
  • Poverty levels have increased due to losses of income-generating opportunities.
Severe economic crisis
  • The total number of refugees and migrants from the country is estimated at 5.4 million, with the largest populations located in Colombia (1.7 million), Peru (1 million) and Chile (457 000). Humanitarian needs for refugees and migrants are significant. Food insecurity situations of migrants reportedly worsened in 2020 due to losses of income-generating opportunities in the host countries amid the COVID‑19 pandemic. The expected slow recovery of the host countries’ economy is likely to only marginally restore livelihoods of migrants. 
  • According to WFP’s food security assessment, conducted in the third quarter of 2019, about 2.3 million people in the country (8 percent of the total population within the country) were severely food insecure, mainly as a result of the high food prices.
Reduced agricultural production, socio political turmoil
  • About 4.4 million people are forecast to be facing severe acute food insecurity and are in need of urgent food assistance in the March-June 2021. The high levels of food insecurity are the result of reduced 2020 main season cereal output and high food prices. Reduced remittances and income losses amid the COVID‑19 pandemic and socio‑political turmoil are likely to exacerbate the already poor food security situation.