Projected food security outcomes in East Africa, July-September, 2012. FEWS NET

27 July 2012 (Famine Early Warning System Network) – There are about 16 million people facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) to Emergency (IPC Phase 4) levels of food insecurity in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, and Uganda. The main drivers of food insecurity in these countries are poor rains, conflict, high food prices, and in some cases an inability to access humanitarian assistance.

Climate forecast by the Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF 31) for the June to September rains stated that the performance of these rains will be normal to above normal in areas of East Africa that typically receive this rain. These rains are the main rains in most parts of Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan and Djibouti. Northern Uganda and northern and coastal parts of Somalia also receive rains during this season.

Since the independence of Sudan from South Sudan a year ago, food security conditions in both countries have deteriorated, due to poor 2011/2012 harvests, widespread conflict, macroeconomic instability, and severely disrupted trade flows which have limited market supplies. The impacts are most severe in border areas, where conflict, displacement and trade restrictions are concentrated. In these countries, Crisis and Emergency levels of food insecurity (IPC Phases 3 and 4) will persist through the outlook period.

About 1.2 million resident/host communities in the drought affected areas of North Darfur face crisis levels of food insecurity (IPC Phase 3) due to poor food availability and high grain prices and in Jebel Mara due to the impacts of conflict on trade and humanitarian access. The rising pattern of insecurity is expected to cause new displacement, reduce access by humanitarian agencies and reduce the flow of and on food goods from central Sudan to Darfur resulting in even more higher prices. These areas are expected to continue to be highly food insecure through the outlook period.

Updated outlook through September 2012

The June to September rainy season is the main rainy season for Sudan, South Sudan, most of Ethiopia and Djibouti. The June – September rainfall season is now well established in Ethiopia, Sudan and South Sudan, despite the late and erratic onset. Significant rainfall deficits (more than 25 percent of normal rainfall) persist in the Central Ethiopian highlands where the start of season was extremely poor (Figure 3). However, the general rainfall performance has significantly improved for Sudan and S.Sudan, with well above average rains in parts of western and central Sudan and S.Sudan. In areas where conflict does not affect agricultural activities in both Sudan and South Sudan, based on the rains so far the prospect for the harvest in October is good. Northern Uganda and northern and coastal parts of Somalia also receive rains during this season.

There are about 16 million people facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) to
Emergency (IPC Phase 4) levels of food insecurity in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya and Uganda. The main drivers of food insecurity in these countries are poor rains, conflict, high food prices, and in some cases inability to access humanitarian assistance.

The highest number of people in need of humanitarian assistance is
found in Sudan. There are 4.7 million people in Sudan who face Crisis to Emergency levels of food insecurity. The main driver of food insecurity is conflict in parts of South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and Darfur.

The below-average harvest of 2011/2012, high inflation and impact of the reduced oil revenues are also drivers of food insecurity. The period between May and September, just before the main season harvest begins in October, is the typical lean season in Sudan. This year’s lean season began early due to a below average harvest last year and has been particularly harsh. In addition, since the secession of South Sudan last year, Sudan has lost 70 percent of its oil revenue leading to very high levels of inflation. Staple prices are also very high, especially in Darfur, due to the rising insecurity which has reduced access by humanitarian agencies and reduced the flow of food and non‐food goods from central Sudan to Darfur. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels of food insecurity are expected to persist in Darfur as food prices are expected to continue to increase at least until the harvest begins in October. There is also no indication that insecurity will improve in the near future.

East Africa Food Security Outlook Update July

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