GIEWS - Global Information and Early Warning System on Food and Agriculture

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 2021
  (total: 45 countries)
Nature of Food Insecurity
Main Reasons
Changes from last report
Conflict, population displacements
  • According to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis, the number of severely food insecure people (IPC Phase 3: "Crisis" and above) is estimated at 2.3 million in the April−August 2021 lean season, due to armed violence that followed the December 2020 elections, adding to the already high levels of civil insecurity.
  • About 1.4 million people are either internally displaced or refugees in neighbouring countries.
Poor seasonal rains, desert locusts
  • About 2 million people were estimated to be severely food insecure in the March−May 2021 period, reflecting the poor performance of both the October−December 2020 “short-rains” and the March−May 2021 “long-rains” that affected crop and livestock production in northern and eastern pastoral, agro-pastoral and marginal agriculture areas.
Poor seasonal rains, civil insecurity, desert locusts
  • About 2.8 million people are estimated to be severely food insecure (IPC Phase 3: “Crisis” and IPC Phase 4: “Emergency”) in the April−September 2021 period, mainly as a result of the cumulative impact of poor October−December 2020 “Deyr” rains and April−June “Gu” rains, which severely affected crop and livestock production.
Weather extremes
  • About 1 million people are estimated to be severely food insecure in the June−September 2021 period, mainly due to livelihood losses caused by poor rains in northern areas and by floods in western areas bordering Lake Tanganyika. The socio‑economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has put further constraints on livelihoods of vulnerable households.
Civil insecurity
  • According to the latest “Cadre Harmonisé” (CH) analysis, about 1.78 million people are projected to be in CH 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 400 000 people were displaced due to insecurity in the Lake Chad Region. In  addition, 505 000 refugees from the Central African Republic, Nigeria and the Sudan reside in the country due to conflicts.
Persisting civil insecurity
  • According to the March 2021 IPC analysis, 27.3 million people are estimated to be severely food insecure in the February−July 2021 period, the highest level on record. This is due to the severe impact of the COVID‑19 pandemic on the local economy and the ongoing conflict in eastern provinces, which triggered population displacements.
  • The eruption, on 22 May 2021, of the Nyiragongo volcano, in North Kivu Province, caused the displacement of about 415 000 people.
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, conflict in the Tigray Region
  • More than 16 million people were estimated to be severely food insecure in the May−June 2021 period. Particular concerns exist for the Tigray Region and neighbouring zones of Amhara and Afar regions, where 5.5 million people (about 60 percent of the population) are estimated to face severe food insecurity, including 350 000 people in “IPC Phase 5: “Catastrophe”, due to the conflict which started in November 2020.
Civil conflict
  • According to the latest CH analysis, about 2.3 million people are assessed to need humanitarian assistance in the June−August 2021 period due to the increase in security incidents which have resulted in widespread disruption of agricultural and marketing activities, diminishing livelihood opportunities for households.
  • An estimated 300 320 people have been displaced in Diffa, Tahoua and Tillabery regions due to the civil conflicts. In addition, the country hosts 240 000 refugees, mainly from Nigeria and Mali.
Persisting conflict in northern areas
  • According to the latest CH analysis, about 12.8 million people are assessed to be in need of humanitarian assistance in the June−August 2021 period as a result of worsening conflict that is driving new population displacements, especially in the North East, North West and North Central regions. Over 2.8 million people are estimated to be internally displaced in northeastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, due to communal clashes in northwestern/northcentral zones and natural disasters. The areas inaccessible to humanitarian interventions are facing the worst food insecurity conditions.
Economic downturn, civil insecurity, lingering impact of floods and 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 and the lingering impact of widespread floods in 2020. About 7.2 million people (about 60 percent of the total population) are estimated to be severely food insecure in the April−July 2021 period.
  • Particular concern exists for households in Jonglei, Northern Bahr-el-Ghazal and Warrap states and in neighbouring Pibor Administrative Area, where 60−85 percent of the  population is estimated to be severely food insecure, with a total of 108 000 people facing IPC Phase 5: “Catastrophe” levels of food insecurity.
High food prices and economic downturn
  • A well above-average cereal production in 2021 has resulted in an improvement in food security. An estimated 1.8 million people are still assessed to be food insecure in the July−September period, about half the level in the previous year, largely on account of poor food access due to prevailing high prices and reduced incomes owing to the effects of the economic downturn.
Civil insecurity in the north
  • According to the latest CH analysis, about 2.87 million people are estimated to need humanitarian assistance in the June−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 1.22 million people have been displaced, of which 50 percent live in Centre-Nord Region. In addition, about 22 300 refugees, mostly from Mali, are still residing in Sahel Region.
Lingering effects of drought
  • Based on the latest CH analysis, about 10 000 people (approximately 2 percent of the total population) were estimated to be in CH Phase 3: “Crisis” and above in the June−August 2020 period.
Civil insecurity, population displacements
  • According to the March 2021 CH analysis, about 2.6 million people were estimated to be severely food insecure (CH Phase 3: "Crisis" or above) in the March−May 2021 period. This is mainly the result of conflict, socio‑political unrest and COVID‑19‑related economic shocks.
  • About 44 percent of the severely food insecure people are in the Northwest and Southwest regions.
  • As of end-May 2021, over 1 million people were internally displaced in the country.
Impact of floods, refugee influx
  • Torrential rains in the north of the country in late 2020 triggered flooding and caused population displacements and extensive crop and livestock losses. The number of people affected by the floods is estimated at 170 000.
  • There are about 21 000 refugees from the Central African Republic and 20 000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo residing in the country. Host communities face food shortages and limited livelihood opportunities, and refugees’ food security is essentially dependent on continued humanitarian assistance.
Reduced incomes
  • Cereal production is expected at an above-average level in 2021, boding well for households’ food supplies. The economy is, however, only expected to recover moderately in 2021, following the pandemic-driven contraction in 2020, and households will continue to face food access constraints; an estimated 209 000 people are projected to be food insecure in the April−September 2021 period, down from 347 000 in the January−March period.
Localized shortfalls of cereal production
  • About 454 000 people are estimated to be in need of food assistance in the June−August 2021 period. In addition, about 6 000 refugees are residing in the country.
Reduced income
  • Cereal production is expected at an above-average level in 2021. However, a slow economic recovery in 2021 will continue to impose constraints on households’ incomes, impinging on their economic capacity to access food. Overall, the number of food insecure people is expected to decline from the estimated 582 000 that faced acute food insecurity in the October 2020−March 2021 period.
High food prices
  • According to the latest CH analysis, about 940 000 people are estimated to be in CH Phase 3: “Crisis” and above in the June−August 2021 period due to high food prices. The country is also hosting approximately 8 500 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 1.14 million people are food insecure in southern and southeastern regions and require urgent humanitarian assistance.
  • The effects of a severe drought on agricultural production in 2021 and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly the loss of incomes due to the economic slowdown, are the key drivers of food insecurity.
Reduced incomes
  • Nationally, cereal production is estimated at a bumper high in 2021, which is expected to result in average to above‑average household cereal supplies and thus improvements in food security. Despite the good food supply situation, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to curb access to food due to reduced incomes.
Civil insecurity
  • According to the latest CH analysis, about 1.37 million people are estimated to be in CH 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.
  • About 372 000 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 CH analysis, about 484 000 people are assessed to need humanitarian assistance in the June−August 2021 period as a result of fodder production deficits in Trarza, Brakna, Gorgol, Guidimakha and Assaba districts.
  • About 72 000 refugees, mostly from Mali require humanitarian assistance.
Localized shortfalls in staple food production, insecurity in northern areas
  • An estimated 1.65 million people require humanitarian assistance at least up until September 2021. Populations in Cabo Delgado are experiencing the severest levels of acute food insecurity, where an estimated 227 000 people are facing IPC Phase 4: "Emergency" levels of food insecurity, reflecting the impacts of the conflict on livelihoods and rainfall deficits that caused a drop in cereal production in 2021.
Reduced incomes
  • An above-average harvest in 2021 is expected to lead to an improvement in food security compared to the previous year, however, the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, primarily income and job losses, are expected to continue to constrain households’ access to food.
Localized shortfalls in cereal production
  • According to the latest CH analysis, about 490 000 people are estimated to need humanitarian assistance in the June−August 2021 period due to the effects of adverse weather events (droughts and floods) on cereal and fodder production.
  • An estimated 14 500 refugees, mostly from Mauritania, require humanitarian assistance.
High food prices
  • About 1.76 million people are estimated to be severely food insecure during the June−August 2021 period on account of high food prices and low purchasing power, resulting in acute constraints on households’ access to food.
Conflict, civil insecurity, soaring food prices
  • The number of severely food insecure people was estimated at 9.8 million in the June−September 2021 period, due to flood-induced livelihood losses sustained in 2020, soaring food prices and inter‑communal conflict.
Floods, refugee influx
  • The number of severely food insecure people was 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 were food insecure due to the restrictive measures introduced to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus. In rural areas, torrential rains in April and May 2020 resulted in localized crop and livelihood losses.
  • 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.
Localized shortfalls in staple food production
  • About 500 000 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.
Reduced incomes
  • The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have aggravated food insecurity across the country, particularly due to income reductions that have constrained households’ economic access to food. However, cereal production is estimated at a bumper high in 2021 and, as a result, overall food security is expected to improve compared to the previous year.
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, economic crisis
  • A nationwide food security assessment estimated that about 12.4 million people (60 percent of the overall population) are food insecure in 2021, 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 and economic downturn
  • 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.
  • The uncovered food gap is estimated at about 860 000 tonnes in the 2020/21 marketing year (November/October). If this gap is not adequately covered through commercial imports and/or food aid, households could experience a harsh lean period, particularly from August until October, when the 2021 main season grain crops are expected to be available for consumption.
Conflict, poverty, floods, high food and fuel prices
  • The number of food insecure (IPC Phase 3: "Crisis" or above) was projected to increase by nearly 3 million to 16.2 million people in the January‑June 2021 period. Out of these, an estimated 11 million people were in IPC Phase 3:"Crisis", 5 million in IPC Phase 4: "Emergency" and the number of those in IPC Phase 5: "Catastrophe" likely increased 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) were 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 and refugee influx
  • Food insecurity and poverty levels have increased due to income losses caused by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • According to the latest figures from UNHCR (April 2021), about 880 000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar were sheltering in Bangladesh, mainly in Cox’s Bazar District.
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 Internally displaced persons (IDPs) residing in the country.
  • Persisting conflicts in Rakhine, Chin, Kachin, Kayin and Shan states have triggered large-scale population displacements particularly since 2017.
  • Income losses due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, has affected the food security situation of vulnerable households.
Population displacements, economic constraints and high prices of the main food staple
  • The country hosts close to 1.4 million registered and approximately 0.6 million 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 due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.
  • Prices of wheat flour, the country’s main staple, were at high levels in most markets in May 2021, constraining access to food.
Severe economic crisis
  • The total number of refugees and migrants from the country is estimated at 5.6 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’ economies is likely to only marginally restore the livelihoods of migrants.
  • According to the Inter-Agency Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela (R4V), the number of Venezuelan refugees and migrants (including in-transit and temporary) in need of food assistance is estimated at 3.26 million in 2021.
Reduced agricultural production, socio‑political turmoil
  • About 4.4 million people are estimated to be facing severe acute food insecurity and are in need of urgent food assistance in the March−June 2021 period. The high levels of food insecurity are the result of reduced cereal outputs in 2018−2020 and elevated food prices following the weakening of the currency. Income losses amid the COVID-19 pandemic and socio‑political turmoil have exacerbated the already poor food security situation.