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Reference Date: 06-February-2014

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Despite an improved 2013 cereal production, the recent conflict increased food insecurity in parts

  2. Serious concerns over the upcoming 2014 cropping season

  3. Cereal prices declined seasonally in late 2013 but will likely increase in coming months due to conflict-related market disruptions

  4. The food security situation seriously deteriorated due to the recent conflict

Despite an improved 2013 cereal production, the recent conflict reduced food availability in parts

Harvesting of the second season 2013 cereal crops has been recently completed in the bimodal rainfall areas of Greater Equatoria (Western, Central and Eastern Equatoria states) in the south of the country, while, in the unimodal rainfall areas, harvesting operations were concluded in December.

Above average and well distributed rainfall was received during the cropping period; this, coupled with the absence of pests and diseases, had a positive effect on cultivated area and yields. As a result, according to the a joint FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission (CFSAM) which visited the country in November 2013, the 2013 cereal production in the traditional sector was put at about 892 000 tonnes, 13 percent up on 2012 and 22 percent above the average of the previous five years.

On 15 December 2013, armed hostilities erupted in Juba and quickly spread throughout the country, seriously affecting six out of ten states. The conflict started at the end of the cropping season with only the late harvests remaining in the fields. However, due to the widespread displacement, a large number of households lost their stocks, with a negative impact on food availability in conflict affected areas.

Concerns over the upcoming 2014 cropping season

The next planting season will begin from March/April 2014. The recent conflict which caused massive displacement of people has already resulted in input shortages and depleted households’ productive assets that already were inadequate. In addition, the prevailing insecurity is expected to exacerbate the already poor plant protection services leading to increased incidences of pests and diseases, while post-harvest losses are expected to be significant.

Timely and effective support to the agriculture sector (crops, livestock, fisheries, etc.) is essential to mitigate the possible significant decline in agricultural production.

The seasonal decline of cereal prices recorded in late 2013 is expected to be short lived due to conflict-related market disruptions

Prices of locally produced sorghum, the main staple, seasonally declined in most markets in recent months as the newly harvested crops increased supplies. From August to November, retail prices of sorghum decreased by between 10 and 23 percent in Juba, Bor, Malakal, Bentiu, and Kuajok markets. By contrast, sorghum prices showed a marked variation in Aweil in Northern Bahr el Ghazal State and Rumbek in Lakes State due to marketing disruptions caused by floods in September. In the first two weeks of December prices increased following normal seasonal patterns in some markets but before the conflict erupted, sorghum prices were below or around their levels of 12 months earlier in most monitored markets. Data and information on market prices are not yet available for the last several weeks but are generally expected to increase in different parts of the country due to market disruptions and uncertainty negatively impacting on access to food, especially on vulnerable and market dependent households. In addition, the main conflict affected areas (Bor, Rumbek, Bentiu) were already experiencing higher cereal prices than in the rest of the country before the violence erupted.

The food security situation seriously deteriorated due to the recent conflict

The civil conflict has resulted in massive and widespread displacements: in late January 2014 the IDP caseload was estimated at 870 000 individuals, including the households who fled the country, with Unity , Jonglei and Upper Nile States accounting for more than 50 percent of the total. Following the forced abandonment of crucial livelihood assets and market disruptions, food availability and access have become very difficult for the affected population, and the food security situation has seriously deteriorated.

According to the latest Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) analysis, the number of people in acute food insecurity and livelihood crisis (IPC Phases 3, “Crisis” and 4, “Emergency”) was estimated in late January 2014 at about 3.7 million, almost four times the pre-crisis estimate of 1 million individuals. The areas most affected by food insecurity are Unity, Jonglei and Upper Nile States.

In response, WFP has planned to provide food assistance to 419 000 IDPs, while FAO will perform response emergency interventions for the distribution of time critical inputs aimed at increasing food production and protecting livelihoods. In particular, FAO appeals for USD 77 million to support 3.2 million beneficiaries, mainly through the distribution of Emergency Livelihood Kits (seeds and tools, fishing equipment, urban gardening inputs, animal health kits), the implementation of a voucher system for improved access to nutritious food sources (milk and fish), and livestock vaccination and treatment campaigns in at risk areas.





Relevant links:
From GIEWS:
 As of Dec 2013, included in the list of "Countries Requiring External Assistance for Food"
 Interpolated Estimated Dekadal Rainfall
 Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission (CFSAM) Reports & Special Alerts: 2014, 2013, 2012
From FAO:
 FAO Country Profiles

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