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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.

July 2019
  (total: 41 countries)
Nature of Food Insecurity
Main Reasons
Changes from last report
Conflict, displacements and food supply constraints
  • The Internally Displaced People (IDP) caseload in April 2019 was estimated at about 612 000 compared to about 641 000 in December 2018. This marks a slight improvement of the still very hostile and aggravated situation.
  • Violent clashes and inter-communal tensions persist, fueling massive displacements, with severe negative impacts on food security.
Sharp drop in cereal production
  • Food insecurity is expected to worsen significantly in 2019 on account of a weather-driven decrease in cereal production, considerable spikes in staple food prices and a poor economic environment, which has diminished income-generating opportunities.
  • At the start of 2019 nearly 3 million people were assessed to be food insecure.
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. The areas most affected by food insecurity are the westernmost parts of Makama, Rutana, Ruygi and Cankuzo provinces, where torrential rains in 2018 triggered floods and landslides resulting in crop losses.
  • About 1.72 million people were estimated to be severely food insecure in late 2018 (latest available information).
Civil insecurity
  • According to the "Cadre Harmonisé", about 641 000 people were projected to be food insecure between June and August 2019.
  • Nearly 130 000 people remained internally displaced, almost entirely on account of the insurgency in the northeast. In addition, the country hosts about 462 000 refugees.
Conflict and displacements in eastern and southern areas as well as an influx of refugees straining resources of host communities
  • The total IDP caseload is estimated at 4.5 million. In addition, the country hosts 217 000 refugees from Rwanda, 172 000 from the Central African Republic, 100 000 from South Sudan and 45 000 from Burundi.
  • An outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) has resulted in the loss of 1 571 lives (as of June). In addition, the EVD outbreak has disrupted market functions, adversely impacting households' access to food in the affected areas.
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 8.13 million people were estimated to be severely food insecure in early 2019, mainly in southeastern agro-pastoral areas due to the cumulative impact of the 2016/17 drought and the poor 2018 October-December "Deyr/Hageya" rains.
Civil insecurity
  • According to the last "Cadre Harmonisé" analysis, about 1.2 million people in the June-August 2019 period were projected to be in need of immediate food assistance.
  • Due to insecurity in the country and civil conflict in neighbouring countries, about 254 000 people are internally displaced and 178 000 reside as refugees.
Persisting conflict and insecurity
  • According to the "Cadre Harmonisé" analysis, about 4.95 million people were projected to be in need of assistance between June and August 2019. In addition about 1.9 million people are internally displaced.
  • Persisting civil insecurity continues to affect the main sources of food and income, limiting access to food for vulnerable households. The areas inaccessible to humanitarian interventions are facing the worst food security conditions.
Conflict, civil insecurity and severe economic downturn
  • Despite sustained humanitarian assistance, food insecurity still affects large segments of the population. The number of severely food insecure people for the May-July 2019 period is estimated at 6.96 million, about 60 percent of the total population. The dire food security situation is a result of persisting insecurity, insufficient food supplies, an economic downturn, trade disruptions and high food prices.
  • In addition, the internally displaced caseload was estimated at 1.78 million people in May 2019.
Civil insecurity in the north
  • According to the last "Cadre Harmonisé" analysis, the number of people in need of food assistance were projected to be 687 000 in the June-August 2019 period, mainly due to civil insecurity in the north.
  • An estimated 25 000 refugees, most of them from Mali, are living in the country, while 148 000 individuals are internally displaced.
Poor performance of the 2018 agro‑pastoral cropping season caused difficult food situation
  • According to the last "Cadre Harmonisé" analysis, about 9 000 people (approximately 2 percent of the total population) were projected to be in Phase 3: "Crisis" in the June-August 2019 period.
Civil strife and influx of refugees putting strain on host communities
  • The number of refugees from the Central African Republic was estimated at 279 000 at the end of April 2019. 
  • Persisting civil strife since October 2016 has led to the displacement of about 444 000 people in the northwest and southwest Anglophone regions.
Influx of refugees straining the already limited resources of host communities
  • An estimated 24 000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo are sheltering in the country.
Localized production shortfalls
  • The estimated decrease in cereal production, on account of adverse weather conditions, is expected to provoke an increase in the number of food insecure in 2019/20.
  • An estimated 247 000 people were in need of humanitarian assistance between January and March 2019.
Localized production shortfalls
  • About 289 000 people were projected to be in need of food assistance during June-August 2019.
Consecutive unfavourable rainy seasons
  • About 2 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.
Reduced cereal production
  • The weather-driven decline in cereal production is expected to intensify the food insecurity situation in 2019/20.
  • Approximately 273 000 people were estimated to be affected by food insecurity between December 2018 and February 2019.
High food prices
  • About 41 400 people are estimated to be in need of food assistance.
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.
Reduced access to food in southern areas
  • At the national level, an increase in the cereal harvest in 2019 is anticipated to improve the overall food security situation. However, in southern regions, which have been affected by consecutive years of low agricultural outputs, conditions are expected to remain poor.
Localized production shortfalls and higher prices
  • At the national level, cereal production increased in 2019, however, adverse weather conditions caused reduced harvests in southern districts which are anticipated to worsen the food security situation in these areas.
  • The number of people assessed to be food insecure in the period from October 2018 to March 2019 was estimated at 3.3 million. This figure is expected to decline, but food assistance needs are anticipated to remain high in southern districts.
Persistent insecurity in the centre and north of the country
  • The country is hosting approximately 27 000 refugees, while 106 000 internally displaced people and 74 000 returnees, also mainly depend on humanitarian assistance.
  • About 549 000 people were projected to be in need of food assistance between June and August 2019, according to the last "Cadre Harmonisé" analysis, as a result of the persisting civil conflict.
Reduced availability of pasture
  • According to the last "Cadre Harmonisé" analysis, about 607 000 people were projected to be in need of assistance from June to August 2019.
  • About 60 000 refugees, mostly from Mali, reside in the country.
Cyclone damage and production shortfalls
  • The impact of two major cyclones and severe dry conditions are expected to result in a significant increase in food insecurity in central and southern regions.
  • Cereal production is estimated to have fallen in 2019, reducing food availability for farming households, while higher prices are negatively affecting access to food.
Rainfall deficits in localized areas
  • According to the last "Cadre Harmonisé" analysis, about 341 000 people were projected to be in need of assistance between March and May 2019.
  • An estimated 15 000 refugees, mostly from Mauritania, are residing in the country.
High food prices and low purchasing power
  • About 124 000 people were projected to be severely food insecure during June-August 2019 period.
Conflict, civil insecurity and consecutive unfavourable rainy seasons
  • About 2.2 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.
Conflict, civil insecurity and soaring food prices
  • The number of severely food insecure people was estimated at 5.76 million for the period January-March 2019, mainly IDPs and host communities in conflict affected areas. Vulnerable households affected by soaring food prices are also of concern.
Localized crop production shortfalls and refugee influx
  • About 0.5 million people are estimated to be severely food insecure in eastern Teso Region and northeastern Karamoja Region, mainly as a result of a sharply reduced 2018 crop production.
  • About 838 000 refugees from South Sudan and about 352 000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo are hosted in camps and rely on humanitarian assistance.
Civil conflict
  • About 5.5 million Syrians are food insecure and require some form of food assistance. In addition, between 500 000 and 800 000 people may be food insecure in Idleb Governorate.
  • Although some international food assistance is being provided, Syrian refugees are also straining host communities' resources in neighbouring countries.
Production shortfalls for main and secondary 2018 crops and economic downturn
  • The 2018 aggregate food crop production was estimated to be well below the previous year's near-average level and the lowest since 2008/09 due to unfavourable weather conditions during the cropping season.
  • According to the joint 2019 FAO/WFP rapid Food Security Assessment Mission, conducted from 29 March to 12 April, 10.1 million people (40 percent of the total population) are food insecure and in urgent need for food assistance.
Conflict, poverty and high food and fuel prices
  • In the December 2018-January 2019 period, some 15.9 million people (corresponding to 53 percent of the population) faced severe acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3: "Crisis" and above), including 63 500 in IPC Phase 5: "Catastrophe".
Civil conflict and population displacement
  • The Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) from December 2018 estimates that 13.5 million people are facing IPC Phase 3: "Crisis" or worse levels of food insecurity, 6 million more than this time last year, of which 3.6 million are facing IPC Phase 4: "Emergency" levels. Continuing conflict, natural hazards and limited economic opportunities have increased the vulnerability of the poorest households, including subsistence farmers.
Large numbers of refugees putting strain on host communities
  • According to the latest figures from UNHCR, as of May 2019, about 910 000 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.
Civil conflict
  • An estimated 1.8 million people remained internally displaced.
  • Some 2.4 million people are vulnerable to food insecurity.
Conflict in parts of Kachin, Shan and Rakhine states
  • As of May, an estimated 160 000 people were internally displaced in Rakhine and 106 500 in Kachin and northern Shan states due to ongoing conflict. These IDPs reside in temporary settlements, where they suffer from high levels of food insecurity and require humanitarian assistance to cover their basic needs.
Population displacement and localized cereal production shortfalls
  • In parts of Balochistan and Sindh districts, the persisting dry conditions in 2018 and 2019 led to a reduction in cereal production and losses of livestock, aggravating food insecurity and causing increased prevalence of acute malnutrition.
  • 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 host communities.
Severe economic crisis
  • Amidst the severe and protracted economic crisis, the number of refugees and migrants from Venezuela is estimated at 3.7 million persons. They have settled in neighbouring countries in South America and the Caribbean. Humanitarian needs to assist refugees and migrants in host countries are significant.
  • In the country, 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 forecast to reduce from last year's already low level, mostly reflecting the lack of agricultural inputs.
Prolonged dry spells and high inflation

About 2.6 million people were forecast to be in need of assistance between March and June 2019, due to the adverse impact of dry spells on cereal production (especially maize), coupled with high prices of imported goods, including rice, the staple food.