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Eastern Africa Region: Regional Food Security & Nutrition Update 2022 Second Quarter (August 2022)

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  • Hunger in the Eastern Africa Region is worsening by the day. Food insecurity is most severe in South Sudan where six in every ten people (63 percent of the population) face acute food insecurity; followed by Somalia (45 percent), Sudan (34 percent) and Rwanda (23 percent). In absolute terms, Ethiopia has the highest number of food insecure people in the region (20.3 million) followed by Sudan (15.6 million).

  • The number of children facing the impact of drought and rising food prices including acute hunger, malnutrition, and thirst has increased from 7.25 million in March 2022 to at least 10 million in July 2022 in Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia; Maternal malnutrition is also at a critical level with over 1.5 million requiring nutrition assistance. There is an increasing risk of unprecedented levels of mortality particularly in the worst drought affected areas.

  • The devastating effect of the ongoing drought in Kenya, Ethiopia, and parts of Somalia is worse than the 1984 and 2011 drought episodes. This has left about 18.6 – 21.1 million1 people face high levels of acute food insecurity, caused a historic cereal shortfall and more than 7 million livestock dead in addition to 22 million heads at risk2 of dying. In Somalia, there is an increasing risk of famine in the coming months because of drought.

  • Conflict continues to increase the severity of food insecurity parts of South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia and in northern Ethiopia, the latter with over 13 million people in need of immediate food assistance.

  • Macro-economic shocks continue to limit access to food in many countries in the region, worst in Sudan, Ethiopia, and South Sudan. The cost of living has increased to historic levels in the last six months, worsened by the spill-over effects of the Ukraine crisis. Increased risk of economic stagnation this year will erode household purchasing power.

  • Even though temporary food security improvement is expected following start of harvests in bi-modal agricultural areas from July, the overall food insecurity is expected to deteriorate across most livelihoods through September 2022 given below average cereal production, rising inflation and worsening drought conditions.