WHY ARE THESE COUNTRIES AFFECTED BY FAMINE?

143,000 people are facing Famine in Nigeria and South Sudan

9.9 million people facing Emergency food security outcome levels (IPC 4) in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen

Yemen and Somalia could face Famine (IPC 5), if no assistance is provided between May and August

In all four countries, conflict is resulting in a high level of displacement and limited humanitarian access. Insecurity is preventing food production and driving prices up.

All four countries are experiencing economic problems: falling revenue, currency depreciation, and inflation. Somalia is particularly hard hit by drought. The situation is likely to deteriorate with the lean season.

Longstanding vulnerabilities, such as poverty and chronic malnutrition, are also contributing to the crisis. Households have exhausted their coping mechanisms.

Although the declaration of the possibility of famine has focused some attention on these countries, aid will still be stretched, and funding shortfalls remain significant.

This report analyses the drivers of the four affected countries.

NORTHEAST NIGERIA

CONFLICT AND THE DROP IN OIL REVENUES ARE MAINLY IMPACTING ON FOOD PRODUCTION AND SAFE ACCESS TO FOOD

• In Borno state, millet production is down 59%, sorghum 44%, and maize 26%, compared to the five-year average.
• Supply markets are a long way from Borno’s cities – 249km on average – and transportation from north-central to northwestern markets is 70% more expensive than last year.
• 77% of IDPs camps are receiving food distribution only once a month, at most.
• Boko Haram is conducting food raids and targeting markets, with at least seven suicide attacks since 2016.
• Inflation is at 18%, with the informal exchange rate more than 60% higher than the official rate.

SOMALIA

DROUGHT IS THE MAIN DRIVER OF THE FOOD CRISIS, AGGRAVATED BY INSECURITY

• Domestic supplies of staple foods are expected to be 75% below the five-year average.
• Cereal production is forecast to be at the second-lowest in over 20 years.
• Livestock has dwindled, impacting households’ livelihoods and purchasing power. In some areas of south-central Somalia, 60–80% of herds have been lost.
• An increased number of checkpoints and double taxation, by both the government and insurgents, have been reported, constraining supply flows.
• Humanitarian workers are targets: 165 violent incidents were reported in 2016
• The parallel exchange rate is 35 times the official rate.

SOUTH SUDAN

ECONOMIC FACTORS AND INSECURITY ARE IMPACTING LOCAL FOOD PRODUCTION AND ACCESS

• The spread of the conflict in the Equatorias led to a 40% national decline in food production in 2017 compared to the same period last year.
• Prices are high due to the macroeconomic crisis as well as taxation and fees at checkpoints.
• Trade balance deficit equals almost one-third of GDP, severely constraining government’s capacity to import.
• 10% of food demand is met by distributions.
• Aid workers are directly targeted.
• Inflation was above 800% in October 2016. 

YEMEN

ECONOMIC FACTORS AND CONFLICT LEADING TO INFRASTRUCTURE DAMAGE ARE HEAVILY CONSTRAINING FOOD ACCESS

• The cultivated area fell by 38% in 2016.
• The de facto blockade on the movement of goods in and out of Yemen has heavily constrained imports since August.
• Transporters are reluctant to access volatile areas due to widespread checkpoints and fear of being targeted by coalition airstrikes, driving up the price of insurance and transportation.
• Food distributions are delayed by insecurity and administrative obstacles. Aid workers are directly targeted.
• The cost of living is 40% higher than before conflict escalated and incomes are significantly lower. The parallel exchange rate is 40% higher than the official rate.
 

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Media Contact

Nadia Noumri, Lead Analyst, nn@acaps.org, +41 22 338 28 64