The food security situation in the region continues to rapidly worsen, largely driven by an unparalleled four-season drought in southern and south-eastern Ethiopia, the arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) of Kenya, and most of Somalia.
According to the monthly food security and nutrition update released by the Food Security and Nutrition Working Group (FSNWG) which is a regional platform, currently co-chaired by IGAD’S Climate Prediction and Applications Centre. (ICPAC) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
It’s goal is two-fold: to provide an up-to-date food security and nutrition situation analysis (early warning) and to offer a forum to build consensus on critical issues facing policy and interventions.
· Drought conditions continue to worsen in southern and south-eastern Ethiopia, the arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) of Kenya, and most of Somalia following four consecutive seasons of below-average rains.
· Agro-pastoral populations in Baidoa and Burhakaba districts, and displaced populations in Baidoa town of Bay region in Somalia, are projected to face Famine (IPC2 Phase 5) between October and December 2022 in the absence of significant, urgent and multisectoral humanitarian assistance.
· Hawd pastoral of Central and Hiraan, Addun pastoral of Northeast and Central, Coastal Deeh pastoral of Central and Sorghum high potential agro-pastoral of Middle Shabelle, and internally displaced persons (IDP) settlements in Dollow, Galkacyo, Garowe and Mogadishu in Somalia also face an increased Risk of Famine through at least the end of 2022.
· According to the IPC Global Support Unit (IPC-GSU) for East and Central Africa, at least 57 million people in 10 out of the 13 countries covered by the FSNWG were highly food insecure (IPC Phase 3+) and in need of urgent humanitarian assistance in August 2022. Of these, about 28 million were from six3 of the eight IGAD member states.
· The forecast for the 2022 October-December (OND) rainfall season indicates a high probability of belowaverage rains over the drought-affected parts of the region, increasing the risk of an unprecedented fifth consecutive season of below-average rainfall over these areas.
· High prevalences of acute malnutrition continue to be recorded across the region, especially in the drought-affected areas of Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda, and among displaced populations. As of August 2022, an estimated 10.1 million under-five children were acutely malnourished across the eight IGAD member states, 2.6 million of them severely so.
· The number of displaced populations in the region has been on an increasing trend, largely driven by conflict and climatic shocks. As of 31 July 2022, the region hosted an estimated 12.83 million IDPs and 4.97 million refugees and asylum seekers.
Recommendations The FSNWG recommends:
· Immediate, coordinated and multi-sectoral lifesaving assistance, especially in areas with a high number of people in Crisis of worse levels of acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3+)
· Significant scale-up of contributions to country HRPs, as well as to other existing and future funding appeals.
· Rapid scale-up of nutrition interventions to treat malnutrition cases and prevent a deterioration in the overall nutrition situation. Additionally, mass screening exercises should be prioritised and nutrition services expanded to areas with low coverage.
· Scale-up of livelihood programmes to safeguard livelihoods, and support recovery and return to self-reliance for households facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) or worse outcomes.
· Close monitoring of areas where the food security situation is already dire and at risk of further deterioration. This includes areas projected to be in Famine.
· Close monitoring of the upcoming OND rainfall season as forecasts point to high chances of below-average rains.
· Particular emphasis should also be placed on anticipatory action to prevent and mitigate, to the extent possible, the anticipated negative effects of the OND rainfall season on food security, nutrition and livelihoods.