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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.

September 2019
  (total: 41 countries)
Nature of Food Insecurity
Main Reasons
Changes from last report
Conflict, displacements and food supply constraints
  • The number of severely food insecure people decreased by 10 percent to 1.81 million in August 2019, compared to a year before. This is mainly the result of localized security improvements, which allowed some Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to return to their place of origin. However, the country continues to experience a precarious humanitarian situation and persistent insecurity is still affecting households’ access to food and livelihoods, significantly disrupting livestock, fishing and agricultural activities in eastern and southeastern areas.
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.
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.
Reduced cereal production and significant increases in food prices
  • The number of food insecure people has increased considerably 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 driving factors are the sharply reduced cereal harvest, steep increases in staple food prices and a poor economic environment that has diminished income‑generating opportunities.
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 most food insecurity areas are in 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 and border closure with Libya
  • According to the last “Cadre Harmonisé”, about 640 000 people were estimated to be food insecure between June and August 2019.
  • Nearly 133 000 people remained internally displaced, almost entirely on account of the insurgency in the northeast and, in addition, the country hosts about 464 000 refugees.
Conflict and displacements in eastern and southern areas as well as influx of refugees straining resources of host communities
  • As of August 2019, 15.9 million people were estimated to be severely food insecure.
  • As of 31 May, the country hosted about 537 000 refugees, more than 30 percent of which are located in the region of North Kivu.
  • The Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) continues to be a growing and serious concern. WHO reported that, as of August, a total of 3 000 people had been affected, of which nearly 2 000 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 8.5 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 poor 2018 October‑December “Deyr/Hageya” and severe dryness during most of the 2019 April-June “Gu/Genna” season.
  • As of August, about 88 000 households had been displaced by floods triggered by torrential rains since May.
Civil conflict affects eastern and western areas
  • According to the last “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis, about 1.2 million people in the June-August 2019 period are assessed to be in need of immediate assistance.
  • Due to the civil conflict in neighbouring countries, more than 104 000 are internally displaced, about 176 000 people reside as refugees, of which 119 000 are from Nigeria and 56 000 are from Mali.
Persisting conflict result in unfavourable food security conditions in northern areas
  • According to the last “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis, about 5 million people were assessed to be in need of assistance between June and August 2019.
  • Due to persisting civil insecurity, over 1.9 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. The number of severely food insecure people was estimated in August at 6.35 million, 54 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 1.83 million people in July 2019, while as of August about 9 500 households had been displaced by floods triggered by torrential rains since June.
Civil insecurity in the north
  • According to the last “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis, the number of people in need of food assistance was estimated to be 687 000 for the June-August 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 220 000 individuals are internally displaced.
Poor performance of the 2018 agro pastoral cropping season
  • According to the last “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis, about 9 000 people (approximately 2 percent of the total population) were estimated to be in Phase 3: “Crisis” and above the June‑August 2019 period.
Civil strife and influx of refugees putting strain on host communities
  • The number of IDPs in the Far North Region is estimated to have increased since late 2018, to 263 000 as of March 2019.
  • In the Northwest and Southwest regions, 1.3 million people were estimated to be in need of assistance in June 2019 and 531 000 people were internally displaced.
  • The country also hosts about 108 000 refugees from Nigeria and nearly 288 000 refugees from the Central African Republic, as of the end of July.
Influx of refugees straining the already limited resources of host communities
  • An estimated 20 000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo were sheltering in the country as of July 2019.
Localized production shortfalls
  • About 232 400 people are projected 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 production shortfalls
  • About 288 000 people are estimated to be in need of food assistance during June to August 2019.
Reduced cereal production
  • An estimated 433 410 people (about 30 percent of the rural population) are projected 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.
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 caseload of the previous year, reflecting a larger cereal harvest in 2019.
Localized production shortfalls
  • The number of people assessed to be food insecure has declined in 2019/20, on account of an overall improved agricultural season and consequently larger harvest.
  • 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.
Persistent civil insecurity in the centre and north of the country
  • The country is hosting approximately 27 000 refugees, while 148 000 internally displaced people and 74 000 returnees depend on humanitarian assistance.
  • About 549 000 people were estimated 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 assessed to be in need of assistance between June and August 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 1.65 million people are assessed to be food insecure.
Rainfall deficits in localized areas
  • According to the last “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis, about 341 000 people are estimated to be in need of assistance between June and August 2019.
  • An estimated 14 500 refugees, mostly from Mauritania, are residing in the country.
High food prices
  • About 124 000 people are estimated to be severely food insecure during June‑August 2019.
Conflict, civil insecurity and soaring food prices
  • The number of severely food insecure people was estimated at 5.76 million for the January-March 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 346 000 individuals have been displaced by floods triggered by torrential rains in August.
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 834 000 refugees from South Sudan and about 366 000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo are hosted in camps and rely on humanitarian assistance.
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 forecast below the previous five years due to below‑average rains and low water irrigation availabilities between mid‑April and mid‑July.
  • According to a joint 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 of food assistance.
Conflict, poverty and high food and fuel prices
  • The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (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 and 4 combined), down from an estimated 1.55 million reported in December 2018 for those districts only.
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, 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 (August 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
  • According to the latest data from the UN‑OCHA (May 2019), an estimated 160 000 people were internally displaced in Rakhine State and 106 500 in Kahin and Shan states due to recurrent violent conflict. About 720 000 Rohingya refugees fled to Bangladesh, following the resurgence of violence in Rakhine State in late August 2017. 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, persisting dry conditions in 2018 and 2019 led to a reduction in cereal output and losses of livestock, aggravating food insecurity and causing 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 the host communities.
Severe economic crisis
  • Amidst the severe and protracted economic crisis, the number of refugees and migrants from Venezuela is estimated at 4.3 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.
  • 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 anticipated to decline 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 as of August 2019, due to the adverse impact of dry spells on cereal production (especially maize), coupled with high prices of imported goods, including rice.