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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.

June 2017
  (total: 37 countries)
Nature of Food Insecurity
Main Reasons
Changes from last report
Conflict, displacements and food supply constraints
  • The Internally Displaced Person (IDP) caseload continued to increase and as of the end of April it was estimated at about 440 000 people. In addition, about 1.1 million people (30 percent of the total population) are estimated to be in need of urgent assistance for food (IPC Phase 3: “Crisis” and IPC Phase 4: “Emergency”).
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 Kirundo, Muyinga and Cibitoke provinces, where these factors are compounded by consecutive crop production shortfalls.
  • About 2.6 million people are estimated to be severely food insecure.
Population displacements and civil insecurity
  • Approximately 398 000 refugees, 118 000 IDPs, as well as an estimated 115 000 Chadian returnees, continue to add pressure on local food supplies, negatively affecting food security.
  • About 380 000 people are estimated to be in need of food assistance according to the latest “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis (March 2017).
Conflict and displacements in eastern provinces, as well as influx of refugees putting strain on host communities
  • As of March 2017, the IDP caseload was estimated at 3.7  million, 1.5 million more than the previous estimate in April 2016. About 6 million people are estimated to be in acute food insecurity and livelihood crisis (IPC Phase 3: “Crisis” and IPC Phase 4: “Emergency”). The country hosts 102 500 refugees from the Central African Republic, 73 300 from South Sudan and 37 300 from Burundi.

Impact of consecutive unfavourable rainy seasons on pastoral livelihoods
  • About 197 000 people are severely food insecure, down from the previous estimate, 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 in southeastern areas, lingering effects of the previous year’s severe drought in northern areas
  • Drought affected second season crops and pastures in south and southeastern areas; while effects of 2015’s severe drought continued to impact on local livelihoods in northern areas.
  • Overall, an estimated 7.8 million people are food insecure. 
Dry spells in southeastern parts
  • The number of food insecure is anticipated to fall in 2017/18, mainly reflecting a larger national harvest and lower food prices. However, dry spells are expected to have lowered harvests in southeastern areas, stressing food security conditions.
Localized impact of pests and dry spells
  • The number of food insecure is expected to decline in 2017/18 from an estimated 6.7 million people in the previous year, reflecting an overall improved agricultural output in 2017. However, stressed conditions will remain for households affected by pest infestations and localized weather shocks.
Localized impact of conflict, floods and dry spells
  • Nearly 2 million people were estimated to be food insecure and require humanitarian assistance in 2016/17. However, this number is expected to decline in 2017/18 on account of an improved national agricultural output.
  • Stressed food insecurity conditions are likely to remain in areas affected by flooding, conflict and dry spells.
Population displacements and civil insecurity
  • More than 829 000 people are estimated to be in Phase 3: “Crisis” and above according to the last “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis.
  • Approximately 60 000 Malian refugees are estimated to be living in the country.
  • Almost 127 000 people, mostly in the southeast Diffa Region, have been displaced due to fear of attacks.
Economic downturn, weakened currency, population displacements and severe civil insecurity in northern areas
  • About 7.1 million people are estimated to be facing acute food insecurity and require urgent life-saving response and livelihood protection, including about 44 000 people in CH Phase 5: “Famine” (i.e. IPC “Catastrophe”), according to the latest “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis. Despite the above‑average cereal harvest gathered in 2016, the weak Naira, coupled with persisting civil conflict in northern states has continued to disrupt market activities and keep food prices at high levels.
  • Approximately 1.8 million people have been internally displaced in the northeastern region of the country.
Conflict, civil insecurity and severe economic downturn
  • Famine persists in parts of former Unity State. Over 5.5 million people are severely food insecure, mainly in the conflict-affected states of Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile, but also in traditional surplus‑producing areas of Greater Bahr el Ghazal and Greater Equatoria regions due to insecurity, trade disruptions and high food prices.
Localized dry spells in southeastern parts
  • Overall, food security conditions are anticipated to improve in 2017/18, reflecting the expected increase in the national agricultural output, but dry spells in southern Lubombo Plateau are expected to have dampened agricultural production in these areas, stressing food security conditions.
Liquidity constraints continue to impinge on food access
  • An estimated 44 percent (4.07 million people) of the rural population were food insecure between January and March 2017, mostly due to the impact of the 2016 drought on agricultural production. Although this number is expected to fall in 2017/18 on account of a forecasted rebound in cereal production, continued liquidity constraints and localized production short falls in areas affected by dryness and pest infestations will weigh negatively on the food security situation.
Refugees putting strain on host communities
  • Over 33 000 Malian refugees are estimated to be living in the country.
  • About 115 000 people are estimated to be in need of food assistance according to the last “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis, despite the bumper 2016 cereal harvest.
Influx of refugees putting strain on host communities and displacements
  • The number of refugees from the Central African Republic was estimated in May 2017 at 413 000. Insecurity along the borders with Nigeria also led to the internal displacement of 223 000 individuals. 
Influx of refugees straining the already limited resources of host communities
  • As of end of April 2017, about 30 500 refugees from the Central African Republic are sheltering in the country.
Lingering impact of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak
  • All neighbouring countries have re‑opened their borders with Guinea, which has led to a significant increase in trade flows.
  • About 110 000 people are estimated to be in need of food assistance according to the last “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis.
Crop production and livestock affected by consecutive unfavourable rainy seasons
  • About 2.7 million people are severely food insecure, mainly located in eastern, southeastern and coastal areas, following the negative impact of poor 2016 “short‑rains” and below‑average 2017 “long‑rains” on agricultural production.
Lingering impact of the EVD outbreak
  • The country is hosting approximately 15 000 refugees as of end‑April 2017, most of them from Côte d’Ivoire.
  • About 14 000 people are estimated to be in need of food assistance according to the latest “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis.
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 in main rice producing regions and impact of cyclones
  • Rice production is expected to fall to well below-average levels in 2017 due to dryness and the impact of cyclones. This is anticipated to adversely impact food availability.
  • Improved weather in the previously drought-affected southern regions is expected to result in a small upturn in the agricultural output, easing food security conditions, which still remain stressed due to consecutive years of poor harvests.
Population displacements and civil insecurity in northern areas
  • An estimated 46 000 people have been internally displaced in the country mostly residing in Timbuktu, the most affected region.
  • About 256 000 people, located mostly in Timbuktu, Mopti and Bamako regions, are estimated to be in Phase 3: “Crisis” and above, according to the last “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis.
Refugee caseload continues to put additional pressure on local food supplies
  • As of May 2017, about 50 000 Malian refugees remain in southeastern Mauritania in the Mbeera camp.
  • Over 126 000 people are estimated to be in Phase 3: “Crisis” and above, according to the last “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis.
Lingering impact of the EVD outbreak
  • About 25 000 people are estimated to be in need of food assistance, according to the latest “Cadre Harmonisé” analysis.
Conflict, civil insecurity and widespread drought conditions
  • About 3.2 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 2.8 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, mainly IDPs and host communities in conflict‑affected areas.
Below-average crop production
  • About 1.6 million people are estimated to be severely food insecure following two consecutive seasons of reduced agricultural outputs.
Civil conflict
  • About 7 million people are estimated to be food insecure and a further 2 million are at risk of food insecurity.
  • Although some international food assistance is being provided, Syrian refugees are also putting strain on other host communities in neighbouring countries.
Low agricultural output and economic downturn
  • Despite an expected partial recovery in the 2016 aggregate food production, supplies remain tight.
  • Given the overall tight supply situation, 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 IPC, 17 million people are food insecure and require urgent humanitarian assistance from March to July 2017, with an increase of 3 million from the last IPC analysis of June 2016.
Continuing conflict and population displacement
  • Almost 1.6 million people are severely food insecure and 9.7 million people moderately food insecure.
  • Over 630 000 people were displaced by the conflict in 2016, mostly in the hard‑to-access areas.
  • Since 1 January 2016, over 728 000 undocumented Afghans have returned mostly due to changes in refugee policies in Pakistan.
Civil conflict
  • Over 3 million people have been internally displaced.
  • About 2.4 million people are estimated to be food insecure, of which 1.5 million severely food insecure.
Impact of floods in 2015 and 2016, and conflict in parts of Kachin, Shan and northern areas of Rakhine
  • Two years of flooding, negatively impacted on food security of large numbers of population.
  • Households in Chin and Rakhine states still remain highly vulnerable as they have not yet recovered from the impact of the floods in 2015 and 2016.
  • According to WFP, as of March 302 808 people are estimated to be in need of food assistance.
Population displacement and localized cereal production shortfalls
  • As of January 2017 an estimated 3.2 million people were in need of humanitarian aid. About 504 000 people (approximately 74 000 families) remain displaced in northern Pakistan due to recurrent insecurity.
  • 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 the food insecurity and caused acute malnutrition.
Recurrent droughts and hurricane damage
  • As a result of the reduced availability and access to food in the affected areas, due to recurring droughts in 2014 and 2016, coupled with the effects of Hurricane Matthew in 2016, an estimated 1.5 million people are food insecure, of which 1.3 million will be assisted in 2017.