Uganda: Acute Food Insecurity Situation in Karamoja Region February 2013
16.02.2013 > 28.02.2013


& next steps


Livestock production: good rainfall performance resulted in abundant availability of pasture and water thus animal body condition has been good. However reducing number of livestock holdings among all wealth groups has resulted in a gradual livelihood change from livestock keeping to diversification into other income generating activities.

Crop production relatively above normal but reduced livestock herd sizes and milk production are expected to lead to livelihood and survival deficits in the pastoral and agro-pastoral zones for a duration of 1.2 months (districts of Napak and Kaabong). Prices for food commodities are increasing as stocks get depleted. High transport costs are expected to restrict supplies from other areas in the months to come.

Malnutrition remains a serious public health problem and presents a consistent worrying nutritional situation. A trend analysis of malnutrition rates (ACF surveillance rounds Dec. 2009-May 2012) shows that nutritional status tends to decline as households food stocks reduce. Acute malnutrition rates have been observed to peak around May (GAM 11.7-12.8 percent and SAM 1.8-3.1 percent) compared to September to December after the harvest. GAM and SAM rates in Karamoja during the lean season (March-August) tend to be above the WHO 10 percent and 2 percent emergency cut offs respectively.

Poverty levels are high and hidden levels of chronic food insecurity persist – the Human Poverty Index (HPI) ranges from 56-65.3 percent for all districts of karamoja compared to national poverty index of 27.69; chronic malnutrition (stunting) levels are high at 45 percent percent compared to 33 percent at national level.

The main factors driving food insecurity are:

  • high poverty levels
  • depletion of stocks
  • increase in food commodity prices
  • high transport costs restricting supply

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