Food Security Statement March 2021

March 2021
  • The main drivers of food insecurity in the region remain conflict, macroeconomic shocks, socioeconomic effects of COVID-19 and climate-related hazards.
  • Conflicts in various parts of the region continue to threaten lives and aggravate vulnerabilities as livelihoods are disrupted, assets and infrastructure are destroyed, and populations are displaced.
  • Macroeconomic shocks, including inflation and currency depreciation, are driving food prices up across parts of the region, limiting households’ access to food.
  • The socio-economic effects of COVID-19, such as market disruptions and reduced incomes, continue to negatively impact the food security of vulnerable households.
  • Pockets of drought conditions have been observed across the region, including parts of Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, due to below-average October-December 2020 rains. Poor crop and livestock production is expected in parts of the region forecast to receive below-average rains between March and May 2021.
  • The nutrition situation remains critical, with a high burden of chronic and acute malnutrition. In Ethiopia, for example, about 7.1 million children under the age of five and pregnant and lactating women (PLW) are estimated to suffer from acute malnutrition in 2021.
  • Over 3.45 million people, or three-quarters of the refugee population in the region, have been affected by food ration cuts linked to funding shortfalls.
  • Despite growing humanitarian needs and multiple hazards affecting the region, the humanitarian response remains underfunded. Further advocacy for resources to respond to life-threatening levels of food insecurity and malnutrition, and protect livelihoods is urgently needed.
Tags: FSNWG , Food Security , Nutrition