Uganda: Acute Food Insecurity Situation November 2015 - April 2016
01.11.2015 > 30.04.2016


& next steps


89 percent of the population in Uganda is minimally food insecure (IPC phase 1). This population still has normal access to food from own production and in the market following average harvests from first season 2014. Food prices in the market are affordable. They have acceptable food consumption score; can afford at least three meals per day of a diversified 10 diet and have low GAM rates. They also have adequate energy intake. The available food stocks at household level is expected to last them up to the first harvest of 2016.

10 percent of the total population in the country is in phase 2 (stressed). These are scattered Karamoja, Teso and Acholi regions. This has been attributed to poor rainfall performance during the first season 2015, which was characterized by long dry spells. The second rains delayed but were expected to be above normal as El nino had been forecasted. This is expected to have a significant impact on all crop harvests especially for cereals. pulses on the other hand were affected by the heavy rains and also some areas are faced with post-harvest losses due to poor drying of crop produce. The El Nino rains have damaged some road infrastructure and lead to inaccessibity to marker. The prevalence of livestock diseases is high in these regions.

The food security prospects of Karamoja are expected to worsen as many households experienced a failed to below normal harvest in 2015. Currently non-seasonal (El Nino) rains are being experienced in the region, however households are not making use of these rains. Households are faced with hunger and the lean season for many has already started given that households stocks are already exhausted and households are relying on market purchase for food. If the current rains continue and bridge on to the start of the rain season a good year is expected by the population, however currently the food Security situation is poor and is expected to worsen in the months to come.

A comparison between 2014 and 2015 at the same time of the year shows that the current food security situation 2015/2016 has remained the same (stable) when compared to 2014 at about the same time of the year; The percentages of affected populations remained the same; however this year a phase 3 situation is reported to be evolving in Karamoja. Compared to 2014 the proportion of the population classified in phase 3 (crisis) remains at 1 percent at the national level, however majority of these are mainly found in Karamoja.

It should be noted that the population in phase 3 in Karamoja has increased from about 180 000 to 390 000 (12 percent of the population in 2014 to 39 percent in 2015). This warrants attention to prevent more people slipping into the emergency phases 3 and 4.

The main factors driving food insecurity in the analysed period are:

  • unusual rainfall pattern in 2015 leading to a failed 2015 cropping season¬†in most areas of Karamoja
  • Poor crop performance elsewhere in the country
  • inadequate food stocks
  • 41% of the population engaged in emergency coping strategies
  • flooding and water logging in Eastern parts of Acholi and Teso regions
  • poor roads affecting food access

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