Eswatini: Acute Food Insecurity Situation January - March 2021 and Projection for April - September 2021
High levels of acute food insecurity through March 2021 due to COVID-19 control measures, high commodity prices and erratic rainfall
01.01.2021 > 30.09.2021


& next steps



Between January and March 2021, over 347,000 people (31% of the population) will be experiencing high levels of acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 or above) and require urgent humanitarian assistance. Compared with the July projected analysis (October 2020 – March 2021), which had the population in IPC Phase 3 or above estimated at 366,000 (32% of the analysed population), the affected population is slightly lower at 347,000 (31% of the analysed population). This current analysis, however, did not include the urban populations in Lubombo and Shiselweni regions. The number of people facing high levels of acute food insecurity is 288,000 in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) and 60,000 in IPC Phase 4 (Emergency). In the projected period, April – September 2021, it is likely that the number of people facing high acute food insecurity will decrease to 209,000 (around 18% of the population analysed). This will be the post-harvest season where the harvest of crops will be at their peak, thus increasing energy intake for a majority of the households. 


  • Loss of employment: Loss of employment due to COVID-19 control measures (lockdown) resulted in loss and/or reduction of income, impacting negatively on households’ ability to purchase food and farm inputs.
  • High commodity prices: The unusually high commodity prices further restricted food access and exacerbated the already compromised food availability in the poorest households, further heightening their poverty levels.
  • COVID-19: The outbreak of the novel corona virus (COVID-19), with measures to prevent its spread, had a negative impact on people’s livelihoods. 
  • Erratic rainfall/dry spells: Erratic rainfall and prolonged dry spells, even though normal to above normal rainfall were predicted.

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