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Uganda: Chronic Food Insecurity Situation, February 2015-2018/20

01/02/2015 - 31/12/2018
About 31% of the population suffers severe and moderate chronic food insecure

According to the IPC Chronic Food Insecurity Analysis concluded in February 2015, the country is majorly classified as level 3-moderate Chronic Food Insecurity (CFI) with the exception of Karamoja and the Central region which were classified as level 4 (Severe CFI) and level 2 (mild CFI) respectively.Over thirty percent (30%) of the total population of Uganda face some level of chronic food insecurity.


The analysis was conducted from December 2014 to February 2015 by the IPC Multi-stakeholder Technical Working Group and remains valid for next 3 to 5 years, in the absence of any major structural changes.


The most affected populations are described as below: 

  • Households that are severely chronically food insecure (level 4) face seasonal deficits in quantity and quality of food for at least 4 months of the year (lean season April to July) and are not resilient to shocks.
  • Households that are moderately chronically food insecure (level 3) have ongoing mild deficits in food quantity and or seasonal food quantity; a diet of inadequate quality; marginally sustainable livelihoods and limited resilience to shocks.
  • Households that are minimally chronically food insecure (level 2) such as those in Central Uganda are able to access a diet of adequate quantity as they are able to produce food and have incomes that enable them to purchase food from the markets when they experience food gaps. Their diet is of limited diversity due to cultural preferences thus compromising on quality.

Food availability is not a limiting factor in most regions of Uganda except in Karamoja, East Central and West Nile where production and productivity, frequent dry spells and lack of extension services affect production. Though food is largely available, food access and utilization are major limiting factors in 3 regions and minor limiting factors in 6 regions. This has been attributed to issues such as low level of incomes, storage, inadequate nutritional awareness, cultural food preferences, poor sanitary and food preparation practices and wastage of food during harvest periods due to festivities. Financial and human capital are the most common underlying factors. Limited financial capital, low incomes and the lack of credit and saving services constrains the acquisition of factors of production, improved technologies and labour to expand production. The low levels of literacy in Karamoja region mean that most of the labour force is trapped in low value activities and remains unskilled. Central Uganda is affected by rural to urban migration of the labour force (youth) who could have engaged in agricultural production but are instead involved in petty trade and bodaboda riding in the urban centres.


A cross-check of IPC Chronic Food Insecurity situation with IPC Acute Food Insecurity situation in Sept-Dec 2014 shows that the population in Karamoja has been consuming persistently a diet lacking in quality and quantity. Indeed, Karamoja has repeatedly been classified as Phase 2 of the IPC-Acute Analysis (Stressed). For instance, the IPC-Acute Analysis held in September 2014 indicated that 48% of the population in Karamoja was in phase 2 (Stressed), while 12% was in Phase 3 (Crisis). The indices and indicators used to undertake the IPC Acute analysis reflect inadequate food and a persistent inability to meet minimum micro and macro nutrient requirements due to frequent recurrence of acute malnutrition over a number of years, that has resulted into stunting.


The analysis also provides clear key information relevant for response analysis and decision makers who are called to target and prioritize the areas in level 4 and level 3. 


Download the full IPC Chronic Food Security Situation Analysis below: 

Food Security ClustersFEWS NETFAOThe Comité permanent Inter-Etats de Lutte contre la Sécheresse dans le Sahel (CILSS)CARE InternationalACF
The World Food Programme (WFP)unicefSICASave the ChildrenOxfamThe Joint research Center (JRC) of the European CommissionIGAD