East Africa Food Security Outlook (October 2017 – May 2018)


Welcome. I am Tim Hoffine, food security analyst for
the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, or FEWS NET. Thank you for watching. If at any time you wish to skip ahead, click
below the slide to advance. To access closed captioning, click on the
YouTube icon. This presentation summarizes the food security
outlook through May for the seven countries that FEWS NET monitors in East Africa. Before we start, a bit of background on our
analysis. FEWS NET forecasts food security outcomes
using a methodology called scenario development. Each quarter, our specialists conduct an eight-step
process to analyze a range of information and data, and then develop scenarios that
look eight months into the future. In Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan,
Sudan, and Uganda, this analysis is the basis of Food Security Outlook reports and monthly
updates. Burundi, Rwanda, and Tanzania are covered
remotely by an analyst in our regional office. The monthly remote monitoring report focuses
on anomalies. On the maps, a colored outline of the country
indicates the highest level of food insecurity anticipated in areas of concern. FEWS NET describes acute food insecurity using
the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification, or IPC 2.0. This five-phase scale is used by analysts
and humanitarian assistance agencies around the world. As we look at the classifications, please
note that when an area reaches Phases 3, 4, or 5—Crisis, Emergency, or Famine—urgent
humanitarian assistance is required. FEWS NET uses an exclamation point on the
map to indicate that humanitarian assistance is helping to lower the phase classification. Around 35 million people in East Africa are
expected to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse acute food insecurity by May 2018. Three countries – Yemen, South Sudan, and
Somalia – face an increased risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5), while some households in southeastern
Ethiopia risk facing Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5). Ongoing humanitarian assistance, however,
is currently mitigating more extreme outcomes and is expected to do so in many areas through
December 2017. Yemen is the largest food security emergency
in the world with an estimated 15 million people facing Crisis or worse acute food insecurity
and in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Continued conflict – the main driver of
food insecurity in Yemen – has led to a significant deterioration in the macroeconomic
situation, high fuel and staple food prices, increased acute malnutrition, and outbreak
of diseases such as cholera. Ongoing limitations on imports into Yemen
risks an unprecedented deterioration in food security to Famine across large areas of the
country within three to four months. An essential resumption of commercial imports
including food, fuel, and medical supplies through all Yemeni ports is critical to avert
worsening food security and health outcomes, and the potential for wide-spread starvation
and loss of life. Multiple poor rainy seasons in the Horn of
Africa have caused wide-spread food insecurity, especially in large areas of Somalia and southeastern
Ethiopia, which are currently facing Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) acute food insecurity. Rainfall during the 2017 deyr season has been
mixed in the Somali Region of Ethiopia, but well below average and poorly distributed
in most areas of Somalia and Kenya. The ongoing drought has left livestock herd
sizes well below normal levels and the poor deyr season is expected to lead to a fourth
consecutive below-average harvest in Somalia. In many areas, ongoing humanitarian assistance
is preventing more extreme outcomes. Looking forward, the 2018 March to May gu
season is forecast to be below average. Households’ livestock herd sizes will likely
remain well below normal, as will access to milk and income from livestock sales. A risk of Famine will persist in Somalia through
at least early 2018, and large-scale humanitarian assistance is needed in all three countries
to prevent further deterioration in food security and, in some areas, the loss of life. Widespread, extreme levels of food insecurity
occurred during the peak of the 2017 lean season in South Sudan, and some households
in many counties were likely in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5). An estimated 4.8 million people, including
those internally displaced, are currently facing Crisis or worse acute food insecurity
outcomes, and some households are likely still in Catastrophe. Of greatest concern is Greater Baggari of
Wau, where there is a risk that Famine is ongoing. However, available evidence is insufficient
to confirm or deny this. By mid-2018, over 6 million people are likely
to require emergency food assistance. The 2018 lean season is expected to be more
severe than the 2017 lean season as macroeconomic conditions further deteriorate, the 2017/2018
harvest is below average, and households’ capacity to cope continues to erode. While humanitarian assistance will likely
reach roughly half of the need through at least the end of 2017, conflict in various
areas will disrupt provision of assistance. Given the continued risk of Famine, large-scale,
multi-sectoral assistance, above 2017 levels is urgently needed to save lives. Looking at the rest of the region, average
to above-average July to September rainfall has led to good vegetation and harvest conditions,
and a decline in staple food prices. There are a few exceptions where the seasonal
performance was poor, specifically in parts of Kassala, northern Gadaref, and northern
Darfur of Sudan. Additionally, displacement due to conflict
in the region continues to drive populations from South Sudan and Burundi to neighboring
countries. Many of these refugees continue to be heavily
dependent on humanitarian assistance. Conflict and drought are expected to continue
to be the driving factors of very high assistance needs in East Africa well into 2018. Three countries – Yemen, Somalia, and South
Sudan – face an increased risk of Famine in a worst-case scenario and households in Ethiopia
face Catastrophe. In Yemen, the immediate resumption of essential
imports through all the ports is extremely critical to avert a severe deterioration in
food security, health outcomes, and the potential for wide-spread starvation and loss of life. In the Horn of Africa, Gu rainfall between
March and May 2018 is forecast to be below average, and sustained large-scale assistance
is needed throughout 2018 to prevent more extreme outcomes and, in some areas, the loss
of lives and collapse of livelihoods. In Sudan, assistance is needed in some northern
pastoral and agropastoral areas, and in SPLM-N-controlled South Kordofan, and in Jebel Marra. Displacement continues to drive assistance
needs among internally displaced people in Burundi and refugees in Uganda, Tanzania,
and Rwanda. Continued humanitarian assistance is vital
in several parts of the region to prevent the worsening of food security outcomes and
mitigate the loss of lives and livelihoods. Before closing, a reminder to check the reports
on our website for more detail. You may also subscribe to alerts on specific
countries and regions. Once you sign up, we will send an email whenever
a new report is posted. And of course, you can learn about new reports
by following us on social media. Thank you for watching. Our next video briefing is scheduled for March.

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