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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.

December 2017
  (total: 37 countries)
Nature of Food Insecurity
Main Reasons
Changes from last report
Conflict, displacements and food supply constraints
  • The internally displaced people caseload in October was estimated at about 602 000, 12 percent increase since June and almost 50 percent since January 2017. About 1.1 million people (30 percent of the total population) are estimated to be in need of urgent assistance for food.
  • Food security conditions are expected to improve as newly-harvested crops become available for consumption. However, improvements are anticipated be limited as reduced harvests in conflict-affected areas will not allow households to adequately replenish stocks and an earlier‑than‑usual onset of the lean season is anticipated.
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 102 000 refugees from the Central African Republic, 81 000 from South Sudan and 44 000 from Burundi, and as of November 2017, the IDP caseload was estimated at 4.1 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.
  • Overall, an estimated 8.5 million people are food insecure. The area of critical concern is the Somali Region, where the food insecure caseload was estimated in September at 2.3 million (42 percent of the region’s population).
Population displacements and civil insecurity
  • More than 301 000 people are estimated to be severely food insecure.
  • As of end-October, approximately 108 000 Nigerian and 57 000 Malian refugees are estimated to be living in the country.
  • About 129 000 people, mostly in the southeastern region of Diffa, have been internally displaced due to fear of attacks as of October 2017.
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 2016, the weak currency, coupled with persisting civil conflict in northern states, has kept disrupted market activities and keep food prices at high levels.
  • Approximately 1.7 million people have been internally displaced due to the insurgency in the northeastern region 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 4.8 million, due to persisting insecurity, trade disruptions and high food prices.
Refugees putting strain on host communities
  • Over 24 000 Malian refugees are estimated to be living in the country as of October 2017.
  • 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 241 000 in October 2017. Insecurity along the borders with Nigeria also led to the internal displacement of 238 000 individuals.
Influx of refugees straining the already limited resources of host communities
  • As of end-October 2017, about 50 000 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.

Crop production and livestock affected by consecutive unfavourable rainy seasons
  • About 2.6 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
  • The number of food insecure is estimated at about 225 000 people in 2017/18, well below the previous year’s caseload, reflecting an improved national cereal output and lower food prices. Conditions are expected to be stressed in late 2017 and early 2018 in southwestern areas, where dry spells adversely affected production, as households exhaust stocks and increase coping mechanisms.
Localized production shortfalls and influx of refugees
  • The country is hosting approximately 12 000 refugees as of September 2017, most of them from Côte d’Ivoire.
  • 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
  • Rice production is estimated to have decreased to a well below-average level in 2017 due to dryness and the impact of cyclones, negatively impacting food availability.
  • In southeastern areas, food security conditions worsened compared to the previous year, reflecting a decrease in agricultural production due to the above‑mentioned weather shocks.
Localized impact of weather shocks
  • The number of food insecure decreased steeply to 0.86 million people, from 6.7 million in the previous year, reflecting an overall improved agricultural output in 2017. Food security conditions for the households affected by localized weather shocks, mostly located in the Southern Region, are expected to worsen during the peak of the lean season between January and March 2018.
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 by civil insecurity.
Refugee caseload continues to put additional pressure on local food supplies
  • As of end‑October 2017, about 52 000 Malian refugees remain in 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 to be food insecure and require humanitarian assistance in 2017/18, down significantly from the year before reflecting the overall improved national agricultural output.
  • Households facing stressed food security conditions are concentrated in the central provinces, mainly on account of weather shocks that adversely affected production.
Floods and localized production shortfalls
  • Over 500 people died and thousands were displaced in mid‑August following heavy rains and a massive landslide in and around the capital, Freetown.
Conflict, civil insecurity and widespread drought conditions
  • About 3.1 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 3.4 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 concentrated in Lumombo Province, on account of dry spells that dampened agricultural production in these areas, stressing food security conditions. The number of food insecure is, however, down 75 percent on an annual basis, reflecting the overall larger cereal harvest in 2017.
Below-average crop production
  • About 0.4 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 expected to be food insecure during the peak of the lean season between January and March 2018, mostly concentrated in southern and western regions. This figure is, however, down 74 percent compared to the estimate for the same period in 2017 on account of significant improvements in the 2017 cereal production.
  • Cash shortages continue to constrain food access.
Civil conflict
  • About 6.5 people million are food insecure and 4 million people 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.
  • Over 630 000 people were displaced by the conflict in 2016, mostly in the hard‑to‑access areas. Between January and early November 2017, over 344 000 individuals have been forced from their homes.
Civil conflict
  • In the first half of 2017, about 922 000 people were internally displaced, mostly due to the military operations in Mosul, in addition to the 3 million people already displaced by November 2016.
  • About 3.2 million people were in need of food security assistance in July 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 616 000 people have sought refuge in Bangladesh.
  • According to OCHA, as of October, more than 800 000 Rohingya refugees were hosted in Bangladesh. Most of these people rely on humanitarian assistance to meet their basis 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 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.