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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.

March 2018
  (total: 37 countries)
Nature of Food Insecurity
Main Reasons
Changes from last report
Conflict, displacements and food supply constraints
  • The Internally Displaced People (IDPs) caseload in January 2018 was estimated at about 688 000, a 14 percent increase since October 2017 and more than 70 percent higher than in January 2017. About 1.1 million people (30 percent of the total population) are estimated to be in need of urgent assistance for food.
  • Violent clashes and inter-communal tensions have continuously increased in the Central African Republic since 2017 exacerbating the massive displacements, with a severe negative impact on the food security situation.
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 Imbo Plain in the west and the northern lowlands (Kirundo Province).
  • About 2.6 million people are estimated to be severely food insecure.
Population displacements and civil insecurity
  • Approximately 409 000 refugees, 174 000 IDPs, as well as an estimated 20 000 Chadian returnees, continue to add pressure on local food supplies, negatively affecting food security.
  • Between October and December 2017, about 318 000 people were estimated to be in need of food assistance.
Conflict and displacements in eastern provinces as well as influx of refugees putting strain on host communities
  • About 7.7 million people are estimated to be in acute food insecurity and livelihood crisis. The country hosts 182 000 refugees from the Central African Republic, 87 000 from South Sudan and 44 000 from Burundi, and as of February 2018, the IDP caseload was estimated at 4.5 million.
  • Reduced plantings were reported in conflict‑affected areas of Kasai and Tanganyika.
Impact of consecutive unfavourable rainy seasons on pastoral livelihoods
  • About 197 000 people are severely food insecure, mainly concentrated in pastoral areas north of Obock City and in southeastern border areas, which were affected by consecutive unfavourable rainy seasons.
Economic constraints have increased the population’s vulnerability to food insecurity
Impact of drought on local livelihood systems
  • Drought-affected second season crops and pastures in south and southeastern areas.
  • In late February 2018, 7.88 million people were estimated to be food insecure, mainly in southeastern agro‑pastoral areas.
Population displacements and civil insecurity
  • More than 301 000 people are estimated to be severely food insecure.
  • As of end-October 2017, approximately 108 000 Nigerian and 57 000 Malian refugees are estimated to be living in the country.
Economic downturn, weakened currency, population displacements and severe civil insecurity in northern areas
  • About 3.16 million people are estimated to be facing acute food insecurity and require urgent life‑saving response and livelihood protection, including about 2 000 people in CH Phase 5: “Famine” (i.e. IPC “Catastrophe”).
  • Despite the above-average cereal harvest gathered in 2017, the weak currency, coupled with persisting civil conflict in northeastern states, has disrupted market activities and kept food prices at elevated levels.
  • Approximately 1.7 million people remain internally displaced due to the insurgency northeastern states of the country.
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 is estimated at 6.33 million, due to persisting insecurity, trade disruptions and high food prices.
Refugees putting strain on host communities
  • As estimated 24 000 Malian refugees are living in the country as of January 2018.
  • About 133 000 people are estimated to be in need of food assistance.
Influx of refugees putting strain on host communities and displacements
  • The number of refugees from the Central African Republic was estimated at 249 000 at the end of January 2018. Insecurity along the borders with Nigeria also led to the internal displacement of 236 000 individuals.
Influx of refugees straining the already limited resources of host communities
  • As of end-November 2017, about 32 000 refugees from the Central African Republic are sheltering in the country.
Localized production shortfalls
  • About 34 000 people are estimated to be in need of food assistance.
Consecutive unfavourable rainy seasons affect crop and livestock production
  • About 3.4 million people are severely food insecure, mainly located in eastern, southeastern and coastal areas, following the negative impact of the poor 2016 “short-rains” and below-average 2017 “long-rains” on agricultural production and pastoral livelihoods.
Localized production shortfalls
  • About 225 000 people are estimated to be in need of food assistance until the start of the main harvest in late March 2018, mostly located in southwestern areas, where dry spells adversely affected 2017 production
  • Food security conditions are expected worsen in 2018 compared to the previous year, reflecting expectations of a reduced cereal harvest.
Localized production shortfalls and influx of refugees
  • About 29 000 people are estimated to be in need of food assistance.
Civil insecurity
  • The number of people in need of food assistance is estimated at 0.4 million, with refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced among the most vulnerable.
  • Food shortages are reported mostly in the south and east where basic food items are in short supply. Access to subsidized food among the affected population is limited.
Dry spells and impact of cyclones
  • In southeastern areas, the food security situation worsened compared to the previous year, reflecting a lower agricultural output in 2017 due to the impact of prolonged dry-weather conditions and a cyclone. Historically high prices of rice (the main food staple) are also constraining food access.
  • Unfavourable seasonal rains in southwestern areas are expected to result in a production decline in 2018, which is likely to further stress food security conditions.
Localized impact of weather shocks
  • An estimated 0.84 million people require humanitarian assistance until the main harvest period from late March; this figure is down from the 6.7 million in the previous year, reflecting an improved agricultural output in 2017.
  • Food security conditions are expected to intensify in 2018 compared to the previous year, reflecting an anticipated decline in the 2018 cereal output.
Population displacements and civil insecurity in northern areas
  • An estimated 58 600 people have been internally displaced in the country mostly residing in Timbuktu, the most affected region.
Refugee caseload continues to put additional pressure on local food supplies
  • As of end-January 2018, about 52 000 Malian refugees remain in the Mbera camp in Hodh Ech Chargui, a southeastern region of Mauritania.
  • Over 378 000 people are estimated to be severely food insecure.
Localized impact of floods and dry spells
  • About 314 000 people are estimated to be food insecure and require humanitarian assistance in the first quarter of 2018, mostly concentrated in central provinces.
  • Food security conditions are expected to worsen in 2018 in southern and some central provinces, due to the unfavourable weather conditions that are anticipated to cause a reduction in the 2018 cereal harvest.
Floods and localized production shortfalls
  • About 12 000 people are estimated to be severely food insecure.
Conflict, civil insecurity and widespread drought conditions
  • About 2.7 million people are estimated to be in need of emergency assistance, mainly IDPs and drought-affected agro‑pastoral communities across the country.
Conflict and civil insecurity
  • An estimated 4.8 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, mainly IDPs and host communities in conflict‑affected areas.
Localized dry spells in southeastern parts
  • About 159 000 people require food assistance, mostly located in Lumombo Province, on account of production shortfalls in 2017; the number of food insecure is, however, down 75 percent on an annual basis, reflecting the larger national cereal harvest in 2017.
  • Food insecurity is anticipated to intensify in 2018 compared to the previous year, which would mostly reflect the expected fall in cereal production this year.
Below-average crop production
  • About 0.44 million people are estimated to be severely food insecure due to the lingering effects of two consecutive seasons of reduced agricultural outputs in 2016.
  • More than 1 million refugees from South Sudan are hosted in camps in the northwestern parts of the country and depend on humanitarian assistance.
Food access constraints
  • An estimated 1.05 million rural people are estimated to be food insecure in the first quarter of 2018, mostly concentrated in southern and western regions. This number is, however, significantly below the elevated levels of the previous year.
  • An expected fall in cereal production is anticipated to stress food security conditions in the second half of 2018.
Civil conflict
  • About 6.5 million people are food insecure and 4 million are at risk of food insecurity.
  • Although some international food assistance is being provided, Syrian refugees are also putting a strain on host communities in neighbouring countries.
Reduced agricultural output and economic downturn
  • The 2017 main season is estimated to have decreased compared to last year’s near-average level, due to water deficits.
  • As a result, most households are anticipated to continue to experience borderline or poor food consumption rates.
Conflict, poverty and high food and fuel prices
  • According to the latest IPC (March 2017), 17 million people are food insecure and require urgent humanitarian assistance, with an increase of 3 million from the previous IPC analysis of June 2016.
Continuing conflict and population displacement
  • Almost 1.9 million people are severely food insecure and 5.7 million moderately food insecure.
  • Between January and November 2017, over 360 000 individuals have been forced from their homes, adding to over 600 000 displaced in 2016.
Civil conflict
  • As of January 2018, about 2.6 million people were internally displaced.
  • About 800 000 people were in need of food security assistance in December 2017.
Conflict in parts of Kachin, Shan and resurgence of violence in Rakhine
  • Since the resurgence of violence in August 2017 in the Rakhine State, an estimated 688 000 people have sought refuge in Bangladesh and 129 000 people were internally displaced within the State. As of February 2018, an estimated 107 000 people remain also displaced in Kahine and Shan states due to ongoing conflict. These populations rely mainly on humanitarian assistance to cover their basic needs.
Population displacement and localized cereal production shortfalls
  • In Tharparkar District and the surrounding areas of Sindh Province, the drought-affected cereal production and the loss of livestock for the third consecutive year have aggravated food insecurity and caused acute malnutrition.
  • Recurrent insecurity in northwestern parts of the country along the border with Afghanistan triggered large‑scale internal displacement. As of January 2018, over 42 000 families were displaced in the Federally‑Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. The country hosts close to 1.4 million registered and unregistered Afghan refugees. Most of these people are in need of humanitarian assistance.
Recurrent droughts and hurricane damage
  • As a result of the impact of recurring droughts in 2014 and 2016, coupled with the effects of hurricanes Matthew and Irma in 2016 and 2017, respectively, an estimated 1.32 million people are in need of food assistance.