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FEWSNET Alert Status- September 2005

Executive Overview of Food Security Threats in Sub-Saharan Africa


21 September 2005

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Emergency: Highest Priority—Urgent Action Required

  • Chad: In southern Chad, refugees from CAR face an increasingly worrisome situation. Nutrition conditions are improving in refugee camps in eastern Chad, and WFP and partners are expanding assistance to the host population.

  • Ethiopia: Though the meher production outlook is good, households in some lowland areas and a high proportion of pastoralists will continue to be extremely food insecure. Record high cereal prices and pockets of acute malnutrition remain, especially in pastoral areas and refugee camps.

  • Niger: Food prices are declining as newly harvested crops and imported cereals reach markets, improving pastoralists’ terms of trade. Heavy household debt may trigger an early start to the next hunger period. (See back page.)

  • Somalia: The post-Gu assessment (Apr-Jun) confirms that 1 million people continue to need humanitarian assistance after years of drought, flood, conflict and civil insecurity.

  • Sudan (southern): Although green maize and sesame are available in northern Bahr el Gazal, erratic August rains, particularly in highland areas, have delayed the main September sorghum harvest. Meanwhile, high rates of malnutrition persist across the region. (See back page.)

  • Zimbabwe: In urban and rural areas, poor food availability and near macroeconomic collapse undermine food security. Up to half of the rural population will not be able to meet their food needs in the hunger period (Sep-Feb).
Warning: Urgent Action Required

  • Djibouti: Following poor August rainfall and rising prices, households face a difficult hunger season (Oct-Jun).

  • Eritrea: Cereal prices and malnutrition rates remain high. Good rains have improved production prospects for the main harvest, but labor inputs are limited. Eritrea will continue to rely on international aid as its major food source.

  • Kenya: Food security has declined in eastern pastoral, southeastern and coastal marginal districts. Funding for food and non-food aid interventions is insufficient.

  • Malawi: Maize prices are above average and 2002/03 levels, signaling a serious food security situation. The impact is greatest in the heavily market dependent south.

  • Mauritania: Successful food aid interventions and declining cereal prices ease food insecurity and improve pastoralists’ terms of trade. Pockets of extreme food insecurity remain in Aftout and the southwest.

  • Uganda: Mortality rates in IDP camps in northern Uganda remain high, especially in Apac (1.4/10,000 per day), despite improvements in humanitarian access.
Watch: Preparedness and Monitoring Required

  • Mozambique: High maize prices in the south undermine household food security, and the humanitarian response in drought-affected areas has been inadequate.

  • Zambia: Food insecurity could worsen with poor humanitarian and policy responses, including a 15% maize duty.

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