Humanitarian Early Warning Service - HEWS
Drought and Food Insecurity


Click to Download the print version of the Summary of Drought Conditions During 2005-2006 map (PDF, 341KB)

               Source: WFP Emergency Preparedness and Response Branch (ODAP)
               Download the print version of this map (PDF, 341KB)

Countries in Crisis/Facing Unfavorable Prospects for Crops:

FAO Countries Facing Unfavorable Prospect for Current Crops

     Countries experiencing food emergencies
  Countries facing unfavorable prospects


Current Drought and Food Insecurity Conditions by Country:


Angola: Increased Risk of Localised Food Insecurity

As of 23 October, the FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission in May indicated that for the 2005/2006 agricultural year, the continuing trend of re-settlement in former agricultural areas has resulted in a small increase in the areas under cultivation, in comparison with 2004/2005. However, the mission noted that crop yields were generally lower as a result of poor rainfall distribution. According to the joint mission, this year’s cereal production is estimated at 742,000 tons, down 15.5 per cent if compared to last year’s yields. Considering the country’s cereal needs, there will be a deficit of about 843,000 tons of cereals, of which 67,000 are to be met by national and/or international assistance. The mission noted that despite the major progress registered in the country’s food security over the past few years, some refugees and IDP’s have not established household food security. Other vulnerable groups include female-headed households, HIV/AIDS patients and their dependants, as well as the elderly. Approximately 800,000 persons will require some assistance – food and non-food – until the next harvest, in May 2007. Based on CFSAM results, WFP will define appropriate intervention strategies although operations risk being shut down in the coming months due to lack of donor support. Food security remains stable in most of the country, despite a serious dry spell that affected parts of Huambo, Benguela and Huila during the main cropping season. Most households have been able to cope with the limited crop losses through livelihood strategies such as increased charcoal production and assistance provided by the government and NGOs to mitigate the effects of the poor harvest. However, the risk of food insecurity has increased in the districts of Huambo, Benguela and Huila. Increased food insecurity could emerge, if the nacas, or lowland, harvest is poor, if staple food prices increase unexpectedly or if the coming agricultural season is poor.

Source: FEWS NET

Burkina Faso:  Late Crop Development Particularly in the North-East

As of 13 December, harvest prospects improved significantly following widespread and above-normal rains in August. However, due to the erratic start of the rainy season, stages of crop development vary by regions and are generally late compared to normal years, except in the west and south-west. Crop development is particularly late in the north-eastern province of Gnagna . Due to the delayed rains and initial dry conditions, rains will need to continue through October to allow crops to reach full maturity. Pockets of dryness have been observed in the Sahelian area of the country.


Burundi: Lean Season Extended to End of January

As of December, the 2007A season started two months late, particularly in northern drought-prone areas. The delay has extended the lean season in these areas to end January, when the harvest is now expected. The north and north-eastern provinces of Kirundo, Muyinga, Cankuzo, Kayanza and Ngozi are currently the most food insecure with 30-50% of the population in these provinces requiring food assistance. Joint (WFP-OCHA-FAO) rapid needs assessments in November in these areas confirmed depleted household food stocks, low purchasing power due to limited agricultural casual labour opportunities and the limited availability of key foodstuffs in the market. Households are relying more than normal on markets to satisfy their food needs. However, the late rains have caused flooding around the country, with expectations of reduced harvests, particularly beans, which are rotting due to excess moisture.


Central African Republic:  High Rates of Chronic Food Insecurity

As of 13 December, most of the population is facing chronic food insecurity, with approximately 73 percent of the population living in deep poverty. Chronic malnutrition affects 39 percent of the population, with some 10 percent of the children suffering from severe malnutrition. The standard of living is deteriorating, with less meat and dairy products available because the M'bororo pastoralists in the area have fled with their cattle across the border to Chad or Cameroon . Meanwhile, harvesting of the second 2006 maize crop is about to start and prospects are favourable due to abundant and widespread rains throughout the cropping season. The first season harvest was good and the 2006 aggregate output is forecast to be about average. However, agricultural recovery and food security continue to be hampered by persistent insecurity and inadequate availability of agricultural inputs, notably in northern parts.


Chad : Late and Erratic Start of the Rainy Season

As of 23 October , due to the late and erratic start of the rainy season, stages of development vary greatly in the regions and are generally late compared to normal years. Rains in August were widespread after irregular and below average precipitation delayed plantings in the Sahelian zone through mid-July. In the Sudanian zone, millet, sorghum and maize are generally ripening, while rainfed rice crops are elongating. In the Sahelian zone, coarse grains are elongating. Pastures are abundant countrywide.


Republic of Congo: Food Security at Risk in Pool Region

As of December, advanced degradation of roads, poor soil fertility and the ravaging of the staple cassava crop by cassava mosaic are negatively affecting food security, particularly in the Pool region.


Djibouti: Poor Performance of Heys/Dada Rains

As of December, Heys/Dada rains, essential for the viability of coastal dry season grazing areas, have performed very poorly (less than 20 percent of average in many areas). These rains serve a vital function in the migration cycle of pastoralists. Although staple food prices are declining, the cost of kerosene is still very high. In addition, the depletion of market stocks of staple foods may trigger food price increases in the next several months. 

Source: FEWS NET


DR Congo: Food Insecurity Remains an Issue

As of December, food insecurity remains a major issue due to a combination of low quality seed stocks, limited access to appropriate ricultural tools, insect infestations, and continued insecurity, the impact of which is most acute among IDPs and returnee communities. Meanwhile, poor nutrition education remains an issue in other areas. WFP is only able to reach 500,000 of the 850,000 people targeted for food aid each month due to funding shortfalls. OCHA estimates there to be approximately 1.5 million IDPs in DRC, with more than 350,000 Congolese refugees residing in neighbouring countries according to UNHCR.


Eritrea: Good Harvest Expected Following Kremti Rains

As of December, the summer Kremti rains performed well throughout the country and a good harvest is expected. Harvesting has begun and will last until the end of December. There are no official government crop estimates, but taking into consideration past seasons, the harvest may yield over 300,000 MT of cereals, which would cover around 50% of annual food needs, the balance derived from commercial imports. Winter Bahri rains in coastal areas have started early. Performance of the rains has a major effect on pastoral food security. While the Government of Eritrea has stopped food aid distributions in an effort to decrease dependency on food aid and to a certain extent replaced them by a cash for work and subsidized sales programme, it is believed that up to 2 million people are facing food supply/access related difficulties, although the extent of need is difficult to discern due to the unavailability of clear information. The complicated relationship between the Eritrean government and international aid agencies – with two more NGOs asked to leave the country in October 2006 – adds to the ambiguity of the situation.


Ethiopia: Pastoralists Still Require Recovery Time

As of December, complete or partial 2005 deyr (October – December) and 2006 gu (March – May) season failures in southern and southeastern Ethiopia negatively affected the livelihoods of millions of pastoralists, who still require significant recovery time. The impacts of consecutive rain failure and the recent floods will continue through the next few months, and the 3 million current recipients will continue to require emergency assistance through the end of 2006. A large food insecure population will remain through the first quarter of 2007, and a lack of sufficient carryover resources at the beginning of the year could result in widespread food shortages. Of 2.8 million people requiring urgent assistance, 1.8 million are in Somali, Borena, and Afar regions.

Source: FEWS NET

Guinea : Improved Rice Crop Prospects

As of 10 November, after irregular and insufficient rains in several parts of the country at the beginning of the cropping season, precipitation increased significantly from July over the main producing areas, improving prospects for the 2006 rice crop, to be harvested from October.


Guinea-Bissau : Majority of Population Facing Chronic Food Insecurity

As of 23 October , the majority of the Guinea-Bissau population is facing chronic food insecurity, with a stagnant economy and 65 percent of the population living below the poverty line. Seed shortages were reported in the southern regions of Quinara and Tombali, where heavy rains, floods and salination of irrigation channels resulted in a serious decline in rice output in 2005. Precipitation and soil moisture have been generally adequate since the beginning of the growing season, allowing satisfactory development of crops.


Kenya: Food Security Dependant on Outcome of 2006 Short Rains

As of December, food security prospects for drought-affected marginal agricultural farm households are closely tied to the outcome of the 2006 short-rains on which these regions depend. The season has started in all areas of the country, and rains have been heavy. Should rains continue with moderation until the end of the season, the food security situation of drought-affected households is expected to improve substantially. However, it is reported that in some coastal locations floods have washed away the crops. While good rains will improve food security, pastoral livelihoods require several favorable seasons in order to recover from the impacts of successive poor seasons over the past five years.


Lesotho : Harvest to Be 6 Percent Higher than Last Year

As of 23 October , the joint Government/FAO/WFP crop review estimates the harvest to be 6 percent higher than last year. The country produced 126,170 tonnes of cereals, leaving an import requirement of 294, 900 tonnes. About 222,000 tonnes are expected to be imported commercially leaving a cereal deficit of 72,900 to be covered through food aid. The July 2006 Community Household Survey ( CHS ) found out that only 7 percent of the surveyed households identified agriculture as their main source of livelihood. In most areas, the poorer households depend on food aid and their numbers could increase if market prices rise substantially in the coming months. WFP had planned to assist up to 250,000 most food insecure people, mainly affected by HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis patients, orphans and vulnerable children. Only 90,000 are currently reached due to resource constraints.


Madagascar: An Estimated 300,000 People Affected by Localized Food Insecurity in Southern Madagascar

As of December, failed rains in early 2006 have led to significant crop failure and food insecurity in southern Madagascar, affecting approximately 300,000 people, according to a joint WFP/USAID/CARE/CRS/ADRA assessment team. Shortened rains in January and inconsistent rainfall in September resulted in successive poor harvests. In affected areas, some households have exhausted coping mechanisms employed in response to decreased income and food security. On 13 December, the Government of Madagascar declared a state of emergency for southern portions of the country and requested international assistance to address the localized food insecurity.


Malawi : Agricultural Situation Improving

As of 23 October , as a result of the favourable 2005/06 agricultural season, the country realized an estimated surplus of 250,000 tonnes of cereals out of a total harvest of 2.6 million tonnes. Despite the surplus, there are still localised hotspots in the country where the harvest failed due to dry spells and floods. The Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) estimates that 833,000 people will have little or no food at some point this agricultural season. In addition, 148,000 people are at risk of not meeting their food needs if the household economy deteriorates further as a result of high maize prices. The poor harvest from the 2004/05 agricultural season has already seriously eroded many household assets by forcing families to sell their resources.


Mali : Normalized Agricultural Situation

As of 23 October , The agricultural situation has normalized following the onset of regular rainfall. The production prospects are satisfying compared to last year and pastures have improved.


Mauritania : Erratic and below Normal Rains in South

As of 23 October , following the start of the rainy season in July, crop growing conditions have been favourable in most parts of Trarza and Brakana regions with sufficient and well distributed precipitation. By contrast, rains were mostly erratic and below normal in the south-centre and south-east, where crops were stressed and re-plantings had to be carried-out in several areas. Yield potential of rainfed cropfields may be compromised if the situation does not improve. Seed shortage is reported in most regions, which may also affect planted areas.


Mozambique : Satisfactory Food Security Situation and Stable Household Food Availability

As of 23 October, the country’s food security situation is satisfactory and household food availability has been stable over the past few months. The vulnerability assessment carried out in May concluded that food security and nutrition in the country improved substantially, and the need for food assistance dropped by more than 30 percent among non-critical vulnerable groups. The baseline assessment currently being carried out will bring updated information on the food security and vulnerability situation. An Infoflash report is expected by the end of October and a full baseline by end of 2006. After five consecutive years of production shocks, this is the first year with good agricultural performance. The country produced 2.3 million tons of cereals including carryover stock compared with a national requirement of 2.6 million tons. With the approaching lean season, r eports on pockets of food insecurity are starting to come from the field. According to a report from the Southern Africa Regional Climate Outlook Forum, the majority of the country has increased chances of receiving normal to below-normal rainfall during October to December 2006. The Government is updating its 2006/07 Contingency Plan. The UN and WFP specific plans will be updated on the same basis.


Namibia: Record Maize Harvest

As of 23 October , the 2006 estimates by the Namibia Early Warning and Food Information Unit, put the maize harvest at a record level of 52 000 tonnes, some 27 percent above last year’s and about 60 percent above the previous five-year average. Generally good rains since the beginning of the season in late-November 2005 throughout the country were the primary contributing factor for this. In spite of improved production, the total cereal import requirement is estimated to rise slightly to 164 000 tonnes of cereals, expecting certain stock adjustments to normal level.


Niger:  Some Areas Still Affected by Severe Food Insecurity

As of 13 December, some areas of Niger are still affected by severe food insecurity, however the overall agricultural situation is improving with the recent harvest. The Government’s Ministry of Agricultural Development ( MDA ) has estimated that this year’s cereal harvest is 3.97 million tons, an increase of 8% from last year. Despite estimations of a good harvest, there are pockets around the country that are in deficit. In fact, there are six departments that have been in deficit for the last two years in a row: Tillaberi, Tchintabaraden , Maine Soroa, Arlit, Bilma and Tchirozerine. There are five departments where the deficits are 50% or more of needs: Arlit, Bilma, Tchirozerine, Main Soroa and Tillaberi. It should be noted that the MDA ’s estimations of ‘deficit’ are based on a per capita per annum consumption of 231 kgs- a lower level of consumption than that used in previous years.

Preliminary results of the 2006 MICS survey indicate that the level of global acute malnutrition among children under five years of age has decreased from 14.1% in 2000 to 10.3% in 2006, while during the same time period the level of chronic malnutrition (stunting) increased from 39.8% in 2000 to 50% in 2006.

WFP along with the Government/ FEWS-Net/FAO/UNICEF is currently implementing a food security and household vulnerability assessment and the preliminary results are expected in late December 2006. As a complement to the food security assessment, the Government’s Early Warning System ( SAP ) is also conducting a nutritional survey in seven departments with the same households that were interviewed during the food security assessment to allow a comparison between household food security and the nutritional situation of the children. Moreover, WFP in partnership with the Government/ UNICEF/Helen Keller is implementing a nutritional survey of 8,450 households which is designed to give an overview of the nutritional situation at the regional level and to permit a comparison with the MICS 2006 and the UNICEF/CDC survey of 2005.

Nigeria:  Good Harvest Forecast

As of 13 December, the aggregate 2006 cereal production (main and second season) is officially forecast nearly 8 percent higher than in 2005 at about 28 million tonnes including about 4 million tonnes of rice. Cassava production is forecast at about 45.7 million tonnes, which is 10 percent above last year’s level. Although Nigeria does not usually experience severe food crises, the status of the country in Western Africa is such that developments in its agricultural sector can directly affect the food security position of other countries.

Rwanda: Food Security Deteriorating due to Late and Erratic Season A Rains

As of December, food security continues to deteriorate for vulnerable households in the chronically food insecure areas of the Congo-Nile Ridge and in the Southern Plateau Food Economy Zones due to the late and erratic Season A rains. The delayed onset to the rainy season is likely to have a negative impact on food security outlook for the next consumption period (January-June 2007), which is largely determined by season A 2007 (September - January) agricultural production. In general, prices have remained high this year, restricting the food access of poorer, market-dependent households. Any improvement is contingent upon improving soil fertility and crop practices. Food security remains stable in areas that benefited from normal to near-normal harvests in seasons 2006B and 2006C. Food stocks will only last up to 4 months for vulnerable households, after which they are expected to resort to casual labor during the lean period (September – November). This lean period risks being extended up to December due to late planting this season.


Senegal:  Harvest Outlook Positive

As of 13 December, the 2006/07 harvest outlook is positive, close to the average of the last five years but still less than 2005/06. Some areas around Linguere-Matam-Tambacounda are potentially at risk of food insecurity during the next lean season.

Somalia: Deyr Rains Largely Beneficial to Crops

As of December, according to FEWS NET, although the deyr rains (October to December) have been largely beneficial for both crops and livestock, flooding has exacerbated the crisis in the south. Already, most regions have received more than 300 percent of their normal rainfall between October 1 and November 10. Internal and cross border cereal trade has been affected which could lead to serious food shortages in the hinterland. Prices of the staple food and imported commodities in many regions show an increasing trend and may be beyond the reach of many poor households. The inundation of farmlands will cause a significant reduction in the deyr harvest (February 2007), inhibiting the drought recovery process for agro-pastoral communities in the Juba Valley and Gedo regions.

Source: FEWS NET

Sudan: Delays in Onset of Growing Season

As of December, the 2006 season was characterised by significant delays in the onset of the growing season in places like parts of Darfur, Sennar, Gedaref - Kassala and North Kordofan. A very wet August-September, however, rescued agricultural production in northern marginal areas and eastern production areas and consolidated a good season elsewhere.

Darfur  Food security prospects in Darfur are even more worrisome as the deteriorating security situation may disrupt the harvesting of current crops. The bulk of the staple millet crop in Sudan is produced in Darfur and any disruption to the harvesting will have a significant negative impact. Results of September’s Emergency Food Security and Nutrition Assessment in Darfur indicate that while malnutrition rates among children under five rose slightly in 2006, they remained significantly below the 2004 rates. The assessment attributes these results to the sustained humanitarian relief effort, but cautions that escalating violence continues to erode the food security and could quickly reverse the gains made to date.

South Sudan  Preliminary reports suggest improved crop performance in 2006 compared to 2005, with localized shortfalls due to flooding, dry spells and insecurity. The ongoing sorghum harvest marks the culmination of the main June-September season. Improved market access, sorghum subsidies and the expansion of labor markets in the recovering agricultural sector have reportedly reduced consumption of green crops and allowed a higher crop carry over into the post harvest season (from October onwards). Current areas of concern include eastern Jonglei State, where conflict and flooding during August may have reduced the October harvest, and the Hills and Mountains Zone (particularly Juba County), where escalating insecurity triggered by unknown militia groups has curtailed population movements and trade. Results of the October 2006 Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission (CFSAM) and the ongoing Annual Needs and Livelihood Assessment (ANLA), anticipated around mid-December, will establish a more conclusive food security outlook.

Source: FEWS NET

Swaziland : Cereal Production Declines Due To Poor and Unevenly Distributed Rainfall

As of 23 October , the situation needs monitoring as cereal production declined this year compared with 2005, primarily due to poor and unevenly distributed rainfall particularly in the Lubombo Plateau and the impact of HIV/AIDS on the country’s most vulnerable population. Production together with carryover stock totalled about 81,000 tons of cereal compared with a consumption requirement of 195,000 tons. Chronic food insecurity persists throughout the country owing to declining income-earning opportunities and remittances high levels of unemployment, and HIV/AIDS prevalence. With a self-sufficiency rate for cereals of only about one-third, Swazi population is mostly dependent on food imports.


Tanzania: Crops Performing Fairly Well

As of December, following the onset of the short rain season ‘’Vuli’’ in the bimodal rainfall areas in October, crops have been performing fairly well, mostly at vegetative growth stages. The Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) forecast indicates a likelihood of the rains to be normal to above normal in the bimodal rainfall areas, normal rainfall in northern coastal areas and below normal in the southern highlands. WFP field contacts with agricultural authorities in western Tanzania confirm that the short rains which started as early as September and have continuing to date contributed to the crop growth and most crops are at vegetative stage and in fair to good growing conditions.


Uganda : Potential Poor Rains Threaten North and East

As of December,  according to FEWS NET, as a result of poor crop production from Karamoja's single cropping season this year, about 500,000 people will require food assistance starting January 2007. Increased civil insecurity in Karamoja related to the disarmament of Karimojong warriors, especially in Kaabong and Kotido districts, could exacerbate this situation by restricting the movement of populations in search of food and water, as well as limiting humanitarian access. Improving civil security in northern Uganda is allowing increased movement of IDPs out of protected camps. As a result, many IDPs and residents in Gulu, Kitgum and Pader districts can now access more land, work longer hours in the fields and increase their own production. However, market access remains difficult due to the limited income generating opportunities in the area. In many communities, less than 20 percent of the households generate off-farm income. Nonetheless, as food access improves, food aid rations could be reduced in 2007 after the June crop harvests.


Zambia : Generally Good Agricultural Season and Widespread Rainfall

As of 23 October , the agricultural season was generally good with widespread rainfall, despite the late onset of rains in parts of the north and east. In some low-lying areas, excessive rains adversely affected crops. The final official 2006 estimates put maize and total cereal production at record levels of approximately 1.400 and 1,600 million tones, respectively. This represents a 50 percent increase over the drought-affected harvest of last year. Consequently, Zambia is estimated to have a potentially exportable surplus of about 180,000 tonnes assuming about 200,000 tonnes of closing stocks.


Zimbabwe : Food Insecurity Likely to Detriorate

As of 23 October , the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee's (ZimVAC) 2006 report is indicating a total of 1.4 million people, or about 17 percent of the rural population, will be food insecure in the current consumption year. Consequently there is a need for the Government to import food to meet the gap. While some government imports are reportedly taking place, the quantities of food held in stocks in the country are unknown. Meanwhile, food insecurity is likely to deteriorate further as the hunger season peaks between November 2006 and March 2007, especially in cereal deficit areas of the country. The food security situation in Zimbabwe is very serious and requires close monitoring as the lean season approaches.



Afghanistan : Severe Crop Losses and Water Shortages

As of 23 October , some 2.5 million Afghans are facing an imminent food crisis as the drought has destroyed much of the wheat crop. In addition, some 6.5 million people are facing hunger, either seasonally or long-term. According to an official of the Ministry of Agriculture, there is a deficit of 1.2 million tons of cereals this year. In some areas of northern and western Afghanistan the entire 2006 harvest has been lost and water tables have receded significantly. The situation could deteriorate in the lean winter months, when households traditionally consume food stored from the summer harvest. I nadequate rainfall has resulted in 50-80%losses in the production of rainfed cereals and is causing severe water shortages in several provinces in the northern part of the country . An estimated 90,000 people are reported to be facing critical shortages of potable water. Crop losses and water shortages are most acute in the north-west due to the reliance on rainfed agriculture and lack of off-farm economic opportunities to offset production shortfalls in these areas. Without immediate targeted humanitarian assistance, the situation in the north-western provinces of Badgish, Faryab, Jawzjan, and Sari Pul could deteriorate into a large-scale crisis with widespread distress migration. In the chronically food insecure Central Highlands, the direct impact of the drought on production will be minimal, but food security could deteriorate as a result of increasing cereal prices during the upcoming winter.

Source:FEWS NET 

China: Several Provinces in South-West Affected by Very Serious Drought

As of 18 September, s everal provinces in south-western China are affected by very serious drought which has had an adverse impact on the food security situation of vulnerable groups. Chongqing Sichuan provinces are believed to be most affected and the drought is described as the ‘worst in 50 years’. According to local institutes, the drought has led to nearly 7.9 million people and 7.3 million cattle facing difficulties getting drinking water and to the loss of five million tonnes of grain and damaged more than two million hectares of farmland. Most of the damaged crops was rice. However, grain analysts say the total rice harvest this year is likely to grow from last year's 180 million tonnes because of acreage expansion in the north-east. The aggregate paddy output in 2006 is tentatively forecast at 186 million tonnes, some 3 percent above last year's good harvest.

Source: FAO, Reuters

Timor Leste: Some 50-70 Per Cent of Rural Households Suffer Chronic Food Insecurity

As of 18 September, h arvesting of the maize crop, one of the main staples of the country, has been completed while that of rice has started. Aggregate output of cereals (milled equivalent) in 2006 is expected to recover from the drought-affected level last year and is tentatively forecast at 129 000 tonnes. Some 60 000 tonnes food (mainly rice) import requirement in 2006/07 is forecast. Inadequate agricultural infrastructures and poor soil quality in most parts of Timor-Leste continue to hinder development of the agricultural sector. Some 50-70 percent of the rural households suffer from chronic food insecurity as all regions in the country are often in a food deficit situation, but food insecurity is more prevalent in upland rural areas. The food security situation of many urban residents remains significantly affected by recent civil unrest; more than 145 000 people, some 15 percent of the country's total population, are reported to be displaced and in need of food and other humanitarian assistance.

Source: FAO, FAO

Mongolia: Average Wheat Crop Output

As of 23 October , most parts of the country have experienced a normal rainfall and temperature this summer and the output of wheat crop is provisionally forecast around the average level of 127 000 tonnes. This will cover only about 33 percent of domestic wheat utilization, leaving an estimated import requirement for 2006/07 of 256 000 tonnes. Unfavourable winter conditions and drought in the last years have substantially depleted household coping mechanisms and have resulted in an increase in poverty. A joint UN food security expert consultation and food security assessment mission will visit the country in October 2006.


Nepal: Acute Food Shortage in North-West

As of 18 September, i nternational development agencies in Nepal are reportedly concerned about an acute food shortage in several hill and mountain districts in the north-western region of the country. Reportedly, the worst food deficit districts are Mugu, Humla, Kalikot, Jumla and Dolpa, all in the Karnali province in north-western Nepal . Food production from farming in these districts barely lasts six months each year. Moreover, the region suffered a severe drought from February to March this year. According to a food security assessment conducted by the French NGO Action Contre la Faim ( ACF ) in 10 villages around Humla and Mugu earlier this year, there was widespread acute malnutrition in the area, particularly affecting children. WFP is distributing emergency food to more than 225 000 people in the central and western parts of the country, affected by severe drought during the 2005/06 winter.

Source: IRIN, WFP Emergency Report

Pakistan: Livelihood Sources of the Population Under Severe Strain

As of 23 October, the Balochistan Government has declared thirteen districts as most severely affected areas by drought. The livelihood sources of the population at large are under severe strain. Sindh Government has also declared five districts including Tharparkar as drought calamity hit areas. In order to assist the Provincial Government to monitor the effects of drought, WFP has prepared a Drought Monitoring Checklist ( DMC ) and has shared it with the Relief Commissioner of Balochistan.


Latin America

Bolivia: Localized Food Insecurity in Santa Cruz

As of December, situations of localized food insecurity are reported in the department of Santa Cruz , where intense precipitations in March caused losses of cash and food crops.


Cuba: Poor Raw Sugar Output

As of December, the harvest of 2006 sugar cane crop is completed, and raw sugar output is early forecast at 1.2 million tonnes, below last year's negative record of 1.3 million tonnes. The poor result is essentially due to the progressive reduction of acreage and milling capacity that started in 2003 as a consequence of unattractive sugar international prices. Wheat and rice imports in the 2006/07 year are forecast to be 950,000 tonnes and 750,000 tonnes respectively, very close to last year. Raw sugar output is forecast to drop slightly compared to last year, with wheat and rice imports remaining roughly the same.The harvest of 2006 sugar cane crop is completed, and raw sugar output is early forecast at 1.2 million tonnes, below last year's negative record of 1.3 million tonnes. The poor result is essentially due to the progressive reduction of acreage and milling capacity that started in 2003 as a consequence of unattractive sugar international prices. Wheat and rice imports in the 2006/07 year are forecast to be 950,000 tonnes and 750,000 tonnes respectively, very close to last year.


Guatemala: Dry Conditions Persist

As of December, rainfall from June through September was erratic and below normal across the north. This dryness has raised concerns about crops. Rainfall increased during October and early November. The benefits from these rains are limited. Scattered showers are expected. Precipitation has been spotty during September and October over portions of Guatemala . Dry conditions persisted into early November. This dryness has raised concerns over developing crops. Forecasts are not favourable for significant rainfall during the period. As a result, conditions continue to deteriorate. Maize production covers approximately 50 per cent of domestic demand, and import requirements for the 2006/07 year are forecast at about 645,000 tonnes, slightly more than last year. Chronic malnutrition in Guatemala affects 46.4 percent of the population under five years of age.


Haiti: Maize Production Below Average

As of December, the forecast for 2006 aggregate maize production is 180,000 tonnes, slightly below the last five years’ average. Paddy production continues its declining trend due to the reduction in planted areas. Paddy production in 2006 is expected to be low at 94,000 tonnes. Import requirements for the 2006/07 year are anticipated to be about 270,000 tonnes of wheat and 320,000 tonnes of rice. 



Honduras : Some 300,000 Households to Suffer Food Deficits

As of December, poor and badly distributed rainfall will cause 300,000 households to suffer a 35% food deficit from September 2006 to August 2007. Reduced rainfall in October and November due to El Nino conditions will cause a 45% loss of the food production, especially in the south, central and western areas, the Caribbean coastline and the Caribbean plains. Excess rains in the north and west might cause significant damage to cereal, banana, platano, african palm and sugarcane crops. Approximately 400 families in 16 communities in Olancho Department continue to face hardship and food insecurity due to the affects of rat plague. Losses of staple crops mean that affected households will reportedly face a deficit of about 65% of their food needs until December or January, when the postrera crop is harvested.


Nicaragua: Postrera Crop Loss Poses Risk to Food Security

As of December, according to FEWS NET, there has been an 11 percent loss of postrera crop areas throughout the country. This situation is likely to affect food security between December 2006 and May 2007. The worst affected departments will be Madriz, Nueva Segovia and Matagalpa. Households will depend on food purchasing throughout the harvesting period. In February, the situation might further deteriorate due to the concomitance of low labor demand and shortages of the previous harvest reserves.

Source: FEWS NET

Fair Use Notice