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Uganda [Karamoja Region]: IPC Food Security & Nutrition Snapshot | March - July 2022 (Published on May 31, 2022)

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Karamoja, located in the northeast, is one of the poorest regions in Uganda, with income poverty at 66% (having increased from 61% in 2017) and food poverty at 75% (having increased from 70% in 2017) (UBOS: UNHS 2019/20). The population is mainly rural, with livelihoods based on livestock and crop production, and of recent a growing range of diversified livelihood activities that include mining, stone quarrying and sale of natural resource products, among others. The region continues to have the highest food insecurity and malnutrition levels in Uganda due to factors related to inadequate food access, poor dietary diversity, structural poverty, low value livelihood options, poor hygiene and sanitation, and morbidity. The region comprises four livelihood zones i.e.
Sorghum- Livestock Zone, Maize-Livestock Zone, Mixed Crop Zone and Apiary-Potato Zone.

Acute Food Insecurity (AFI)

All nine districts in the Karamoja region are classified in IPC AFI Phase 3 (Crisis), with about 41% of the population (518,000 people) facing high levels of acute food insecurity (IPC AFI Phase 3 or above) between March and July 2022. In terms of severity, the districts with the highest percentage in IPC AFI Phase 3 (Crisis) or above are Kaabong, Kotido and Moroto, with each having 50% of the population in IPC AFI Phase 3 or above, followed by Nabilatuk, which has 40%.
The food security situation in the region has continued to deteriorate, with the population in IPC AFI Phase 3 or above increasing from 27% in June 2020, to 30% in April 2021 and to 41% in April 2022. Households facing high levels of acute food insecurity (IPC AFI Phase 3 or above) have large food consumption gaps and can only meet their minimum food consumption requirements after employing crisis and emergency coping strategies.
In fact, most of these households (about 48%) have depleted their essential livelihood assets, including consuming seed stocks to cope with the situation. It is anticipated that the food security situation will slightly improve in the projection period (August 2022 – February 2023), with a reduction of the population in IPC AFI Phase 3 or above from 518,000 (41%) to 315,000 (25%). 38, 000 people (3% of the population analysed) will be in IPC AFI Phase 4.

Acute Malnutrition (AMN)

Of the nine districts in Karamoja region, during the lean season of 2022 (February – July 2022), two districts have Critical levels of acute malnutrition (IPC AMN Phase 4), four districts have Serious levels of acute malnutrition (IPC AMN Phase 3) and three districts have Alert levels of acute malnutrition (IPC AMN Phase 2). About 91,610 children aged 6 to 59 months and 9,453 pregnant or lactating women (PLW) in the nine districts included in the analysis are affected by acute malnutrition and are in need of treatment.
For the period of February to July, Kaabong and Moroto are the two districts classified in a Critical situation (IPC AMN Phase 4). Amudat, Kotido, Nabilatuk and Napak are the districts classified in Serious situation (IPC AMN Phase 3), whereas Abim, Karenga and Nakapiripirit are the three districts in an Alert situation (IPC AMN Phase 2).
Even though Kaabong registered a 1.2% increase from the 18.6% prevalence recorded in 2021, the more worrying situation is in Moroto district that registered a 7.8% increase in the GAM from 14.2% recorded in 2021. In the projection period of August 2022 to January 2023, acute malnutrition is expected to improve in two districts - in one district from Alert to Acceptable (IPC AMN Phase 1), and in the other from Serious to Alert - while in the other districts, the situation is expected to remain the same.

Linkages between AFI and AMN

Acute malnutrition data shows that food insecurity is a major contributing factor. Of the nine districts analyzed, six, namely Amudat, Kaabong, Kotido, Moroto, Nabilatuk and Napak, are of concern in terms of both acute food insecurity and malnutrition. Historical evidence analysis of the same season (lean season) has consistently shown that acute food insecurity has been progressively deteriorating in these districts, reducing food availability on the table for household members. On the other hand, analysis of children’s food consumption, based on data from the same survey, has shown that householdlevel acute food insecurity has started impacting children’s diet. Their diet has dropped further lower in all these districts, already at abysmal levels.