Eswatini: Acute Food Security Situation June - September 2019 and Projection for October 2019 - March 2020
Dry spells, high food prices and increasing unemployment worsen Eswatini's food security situation
01.06.2019 > 31.03.2020


& next steps



Between June and September 2019, it is estimated that around 205,000 people (22% of the rural population) are experiencing severe acute food insecurity and require urgent humanitarian action. These include around 157,000 people being in a Crisis situation (Phase 3) and 47,000 people being in an Emergency situation (Phase 4). Around 370,000 people are also in a Etressed situation (Phase 2) and require livelihood support.

In comparison with last year, the situation has deteriorated, with two of the regions shifting to a more severe phase. This deterioration can be attributed to the anticipated drought, which led to farmers choosing not to plant their fields, reducing casual labour opportunities and food availability, with one-fifth of households depleting their assets or engaging in crisis or emergency coping strategies to mitigate moderate to large food gaps.

Between October 2019 and March 2020, around 232,000 people (25% of the rural population) are estimated that they will likely experience severe acute food insecurity, out of which an estimated 185,000 people will likely face a Crisis situation (IPC Phase 3), and 47,000 people will likely be in an Emergency situation (IPC Phase 4). Around 370,000 people will also be in a Stressed situation (IPC Phase 2). Assuming that rainfall will be better in this year’s rainy season, all regions will maintain the same Phase classification in the projected period. However, it is likely that around 28,000 people will slip into Crisis (IPC Phase 3), since all households will run out of food stocks before the end of the year, and due to the usual increase in human and livestock disease outbreaks and crop pest incidences in the rainy season.

Key Drivers

  • Dry spells and the possibilities of an El Nino induced drought episode had a negative effect on the crop production.
  • The high unemployment rate led to low purchasing power, reducing food access and availability.
  • The unusually high prices of commodities further exacerbated food access and availability for the poor already living below the poverty line.

See snapshot of situation here.

Country Related Information


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