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Country analysis

Eswatini


Persistent drought, floods, and the combined impact of COVID-19 and the conflict in Ukraine on livelihoods are intensifying the food security crisis in Eswatini. Between October 2022 and March 2023, 259,000 people (22% of the assessed population) were expected to experience severe acute food insecurity – i.e., Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse levels – including 37,000 facing Emergency (IPC Phase 4) levels. The 37,000 represents a 6% increase from the previous IPC figures for the June–September 2022 period. Most of the people expected to be facing severe acute food insecurity between October 2022 and March 2023 live in Lubombo Plateau (Lubombo district).

As a result of the current Russia-Ukraine conflict, input prices have risen far above the five-year average. The impact of COVID-19 has also increased the number of unemployed people in the country, significantly affecting livelihoods. As the purchasing power of more households decrease, they are likely to start depleting more of their assets as a coping strategy for the rising food insecurity and nutrition crisis, aggravating the situation during the October 2022 to March 2023 period.

Eswatini significantly depends on imports for food consumption. The main causes of this dependence include recurrent droughts; variable rainfall; lengthy dry spells; insufficient farming technology; low investment in seeds, fertilisers, and equipment; and structural impediments blocking access to formal markets.

(WFP accessed 17/03/2023, IPC 04/07/2022, EC 07/07/2022, WFP 12/08/2022)

Persistent drought, floods, and the combined impact of COVID-19 and the conflict in Ukraine on livelihoods are intensifying the food security crisis in Eswatini. Between October 2022 and March 2023, 259,000 people (22% of the assessed population) were expected to experience severe acute food insecurity – i.e., Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse levels – including 37,000 facing Emergency (IPC Phase 4) levels. The 37,000 represents a 6% increase from the previous IPC figures for the June–September 2022 period. Most of the people expected to be facing severe acute food insecurity between October 2022 and March 2023 live in Lubombo Plateau (Lubombo district).

As a result of the current Russia-Ukraine conflict, input prices have risen far above the five-year average. The impact of COVID-19 has also increased the number of unemployed people in the country, significantly affecting livelihoods. As the purchasing power of more households decrease, they are likely to start depleting more of their assets as a coping strategy for the rising food insecurity and nutrition crisis, aggravating the situation during the October 2022 to March 2023 period.

Eswatini significantly depends on imports for food consumption. The main causes of this dependence include recurrent droughts; variable rainfall; lengthy dry spells; insufficient farming technology; low investment in seeds, fertilisers, and equipment; and structural impediments blocking access to formal markets.

(WFP accessed 17/03/2023, IPC 04/07/2022, EC 07/07/2022, WFP 12/08/2022)

current crises
in Eswatini


These crises have been identified through the INFORM Severity Index, a tool for measuring and comparing the severity of humanitarian crises globally.

Read more about the Index

SWZ001 - Food Security Crisis

Last updated 31/08/2023


Drivers

Drought

Crisis level

Country

Severity level

2.6 Medium

Access constraints

1.0

REG012 - Southern Africa Regional Food Security Crisis

Last updated 31/08/2023


Drivers


Crisis level

Regional

Severity level

3.7 High

Access constraints

2.0