Urgent humanitarian action needed to respond to alarming levels of food insecurity and malnutrition in Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen

Post date Thursday, 30 March, 2017 - 14:33

Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen are currently facing alarming levels of food insecurity. 

  • As of March 2017, nearly 25 million people are facing food crisis, emergency and catastrophe (IPC Phase 3, 4 and 5) and require urgent humanitarian assistance across the three countries. Of these people, 100,000 are facing famine conditions in localized areas of South Sudan.
  • Additionally, nearly than 13.6 million people are in Stress conditions (IPC Phase 2) across the three countries, and require support for livelihood protection.
  • The number of people in urgent need of humanitarian assistance is growing, especially in Yemen, where the population in Crisis and Emergency has increased by 20% as compared to June 2016, and in Somalia, where current figures represent a two-fold increase as compared to August 2016.
  • The situation is expected to deteriorate in the coming months in case of inadequate and untimely response. In Somalia, in a worst case scenario, drought might lead to famine.
  • The highest proportions of acutely food insecure populations are among the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), host communities and households with high dependency on market purchases.
  • Conflict, drought and economic crises are major drivers of escalating food security emergencies in these countries.
  • Acute malnutrition is a major outcome of the severe food insecurity in the three countries. According to UNICEF (Feb. 2017), over 900,000 children are at risk of death in 2017 in these three countries. 


The international community must take urgent action to mitigate and respond to high levels of acute food insecurity. 

  • Provide immediate humanitarian assistance to 100,000 people facing famine conditions in South Sudan. 
  • Scale up life-saving humanitarian response and livelihood protection for the 25 million people facing Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phases 3 & 4) across the three countries.
  • Advocate for and secure humanitarian access and respect of humanitarian space in the areas that are still inaccessible due to ongoing conflict in these countries.
  • Advocate for lifting restrictions that limit importation of essential commodities into Yemen.
  • Closely monitor the evolving conflicts, the economic situation, weather patterns (especially in Somalia), food security and nutrition outcomes and humanitarian response and update IPC analyses as needed.
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