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March 2014

COUNTRIES REQUIRING EXTERNAL ASSISTANCE FOR FOOD
(total: 33 countries)

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. However, many countries are also severely affected by high food and fuel prices. These include countries which are large net importers of cereals and fuels, with generally low per capita incomes, relatively high levels of malnutrition, and for which there is a strong transmission of high international food prices1.
 
Click on country to see details in the GIEWS Country Briefs

AFRICA ( 26 countries )

Map View 
Nature of Food InsecurityMain ReasonsChanges from last report2
Exceptional shortfall in aggregate food production/supplies
Central African Republic
Crop production in 2013 sharply declined from last year’s level due to prevailing civil insecurity. The number of people in need of food assistance was estimated in November at about 1.3 million, about 30 percent of the rural population. IDPs increased sharply in December and January to 714 000 following a further escalation of violence in December 2013.
Zimbabwe
Tight maize supplies in 2014, following a reduced domestic harvest in the previous year, caused a deterioration in food security conditions, particularly in southern and western parts. An estimated 2.2 million people were assessed to be food insecure until the start of the main harvest in April, significantly above the 1.67 million in the first quarter of 2013.
Widespread lack of access
Burkina Faso
A massive influx of refugees from Mali has put additional pressure on local food supplies. About 50 000 Malian refugees are estimated to be living in the country as of November 2013.
Chad
Influx of refugees (over 467 000 people from the Sudan’s Darfur region, the Central African Republic and northern Nigeria) and the return of an estimated 350 000 Chadians have put additional pressure on the local food supply affecting food security.
Djibouti
About 70 000 people are still severely food insecure, mainly in pastoral southeastern areas that received below average July September rains and depend on humanitarian assistance.
Eritrea
Vulnerability to food insecurity due to economic constraints.
Guinea
Despite improved access to food in recent months, driven mostly by lower prices of imported commodities, assistance is still needed to overcome the lingering effects of several years of high food prices and general inflation.
Liberia
Slow recovery from war related damages, inadequate social services and infrastructure, poor market access and presence of some 58 000 Ivorian refugees in the country (as of January 2014) result in the need for continued international support.
Malawi
In spite of an above average national maize harvest in 2013, an estimated 1.9 million persons in 2013/14 were assessed to be food insecure. Continuing increases in the price of maize and localised production short falls contributed to the poor food security conditions.
Mali
In spite of an above average national maize harvest in 2013, an estimated 1.9 million persons in 2013/14 were assessed to be food insecure. Continuing increases in the price of maize and localised production short falls contributed to the poor food security conditions.
Mauritania
More than 67 000 Malian refugees have been registered in the southeastern part of the country. Moreover, Mauritania continues to be affected by relatively high domestic food prices. About 470 000 people are estimated to be at risk of food insecurity.
Niger
The country has been struck by successive severe food crises in recent years that resulted in depletion of household assets and high level of indebtedness. Another below average crop was gathered in 2013. About 4.2 million people are estimated to be at risk of food insecurity.
Sierra Leone
Despite improved access to food in recent months, driven mostly by lower prices of imported commodities, assistance is still needed to overcome the lingering effects of several years of high food prices and general inflation.
Severe localized food insecurity
Cameroon
In North and Far North regions, recurrent climatic shocks in recent years have negatively impacted agricultural activities, resulting in localized crop failures. This has led to severe food insecurity and malnutrition for about 615 000 people. In addition, since May 2013, northern Cameroon received more than 12 000 Nigerian refugees, while the 16 684 refugees received from early 2013 from the Central African Republic are mainly hosted in the eastern region.
Congo
Despite the recovery from the floods and the explosion in the capital in 2012, the country still faces significant problems of food insecurity: 216 000 people are food-insecure (8 percent of all households), of which 37 000 people face poor food consumption and 179 000 borderline food consumption levels.
Côte d'Ivoire
Conflict related damage to agriculture in recent years and the lack of support services mainly in the northern regions. The 2011 post election crisis forced thousands of people to leave the country and seek refuge, mostly in eastern Liberia where some 58 000 Ivorian refugees were still living as of January 2014.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The number of people in need of food assistance was estimated in December 2013 at about 6.7 million, with a 5 percent increase compared to June 2013. The areas most affected by severe food insecurity (IPC phase 4: “Humanitarian Emergency”) are the conflict affected Maniema, Oriental and Katanga provinces. As of late December 2013, the total number of IDPs was estimated at more than 2.9 million, with a 12 percent increase compared to June 2013. In addition, since early 2013, the DRC has received about 53 000 refugees from the CAR, and about 120 000 returnees who were expelled from Angola.
Ethiopia
The overall food security conditions have improved with the good harvests from the 2013 main “meher” season. However, about 2.4 million people are still estimated to be in need of humanitarian assistance.
Lesotho
Food security conditions remain stable, however an estimated 223 000 persons were assessed to be food insecure in 2013/14 and require assistance until the start of the main harvest in April 2014.
Madagascar
Lower rice production (18 percent below average) and higher prices in 2013 contributed to a deterioration in food security conditions. Southwestern areas are of particular concern, following the impact of the locust plague and Cyclone Haruna.
Mozambique
Overall satisfactory food security situation, benefiting from favourable 2013 harvests (main and secondary season). However, high prices continue to constrain food access.
Senegal
Cereal production in 2013 is estimated to be 8 percent below the average. Already in 2012, production shortfalls and high food prices led to a deterioration of the food security situation in several parts of the country. About 2.2 million people are estimated to be at risk of food insecurity this year.
Somalia
About 600 000 people are estimated to be in need of emergency assistance, down from 870 000 at the end of 2013, mainly IDPs and poor households in some pastoral central and northwestern areas with below average livestock production.
South Sudan
The number of severely food insecure people increased dramatically to about 3.7 million following the conflict that erupted in mid December 2013.
Sudan
The number of people estimated to be in need of humanitarian assistance, mainly IDPs in conflict-affected areas, is estimated at about 3.3 million people.
Uganda
About 100 000 people in Karamoja region are estimated to be severely food insecure following two years of below average crop production.
   No change    Improving    Deteriorating+ New entry

ASIA ( 7 countries )

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Nature of Food InsecurityMain ReasonsChanges from last report2
Exceptional shortfall in aggregate food production/supplies
Iraq
Severe civil insecurity.
Syrian Arab Republic
Due to worsening civil conflict, 6.3 million people are estimated to be facing severe food insecurity. Although some international food assistance is provided, the Syrian refugees are also putting strain on other countries in the region.
Widespread lack of access
Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Despite a small increase in the aggregate food production for a third year in a row in 2013/14, the food security situation remains unsatisfactory with 84 percent of households having borderline or poor food consumption. While the cereal import requirement of 340 000 tonnes, for the 2013/14 marketing year, is the narrowest in many years, it needs to be covered through additional purchases by the government and/or international support to avoid undernourishment. The food system in the DPRK remains highly vulnerable to shocks and serious shortages exist particularly in the production of protein-rich crops. The rates of stunting during the first 1 000 days of a child’s life remain high and micronutrient deficiencies are of a particular concern.
Yemen
The severely food-insecure population in need of emergency food assistance is estimated at 4.5 million people, 18 percent of the population, as a result of high levels of prolonged conflict, poverty, and high food and fuel prices.
Severe localized food insecurity
Afghanistan
Some groups, particularly IDPs displaced by the conflict, returnees from Pakistan and natural disaster-affected households continue to face high level food insecurity.
Kyrgyzstan
Despite a rebound in cereal harvest, the high food prices are still affecting the purchasing power of the poorest and vulnerable families. In addition, socio-political tensions still exist in Jalalabad, Osh, Batken and Issykul Oblasts.
Philippines
The aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan that hit the Philippines on 8 November, affecting nine Regions across central parts of the country, is continuing. According to the latest estimates, as of 20 January 2014, a total of 14.1 million people were still affected and over 4.1 million were displaced. Severe damages to housing and infrastructure, irrigation and storage facilities were reported. The country was also hit in October by Typhoon Nari which affected 740 000 people in 13 provinces across northern and central Luzon. The partial recovery in the agriculture sector has begun; however, it is expected to take a few seasons to recover fully. Given the food security concerns in the affected areas, FAO has appealed (as of 27 January 2014) for over USD 38 million for agricultural rehabilitation.
   No change    Improving    Deteriorating+ New entry

 

COUNTRIES WITH UNFAVOURABLE PROSPECTS FOR CURRENT CROPS
(total: 4 countries)

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CountryMain ReasonsChanges from last report2
AFRICA ( 3 countries )
KenyaA below average “short rains” cereal harvest is expected in southeastern and coastal marginal agricultural livelihood zones due to unfavourable rains.+
SomaliaBelow average 2013/14 “deyr” season harvest over major cropping areas in southern regions of Juba, Gedo, Lower Shabelle and Hiran.+
United Republic of TanzaniaIn northern bimodal rainfall areas, the 2013/14 “vuli” harvest is forecast at below average levels due to unfavourable rains+
ASIA/NEAR EAST ( 1 country )
Syrian Arab RepublicCivil insecurity, high costs of production and reduced input availability have caused reduced plantings of the 2013/14 winter cereal crops.+
   No change    Improving    Deteriorating+ New entry

TERMINOLOGY

Countries requiring external assistance for food are expected to lack the resources to deal with reported critical problems of food insecurity. Food crises are nearly always due to a combination of factors, but for the purpose of response planning, it is important to establish whether the nature of food crises is predominantly related to lack of food availability, limited access to food, or severe but localized problems. Accordingly, the list of countries requiring external assistance is organized into three broad, not mutually exclusive, categories:

  • Countries facing an exceptional shortfall in aggregate food production/supplies as a result of crop failure, natural disasters, interruption of imports, disruption of distribution, excessive post-harvest losses, or other supply bottlenecks.

  • Countries with widespread lack of access, where a majority of the population is considered to be unable to procure food from local markets, due to very low incomes, exceptionally high food prices, or the inability to circulate within the country.

  • Countries with severe localized food insecurity due to the influx of refugees, a concentration of internally displaced persons, or areas with combinations of crop failure and deep poverty.

Unfavourable Prospects for Current Crops are countries where prospects point to a shortfall in production of current crops as a result of a reduction of the area planted and/or yields due to adverse weather conditions, plant pests, diseases and other calamities.


1. See, for example, Soaring food prices: facts, perspectives, impacts and actions required, page 17, table 4.
2. Crop Prospects and Food Situation, No. 4, December 2013
The maps on the GIEWS homepage indicate countries in crisis requiring external assistance for food.