Assessment of food security early warning systems for East and Southern Africa

This report assesses food security early warning systems (EWS) to improve food security and resilience in eastern and southern Africa. It aims to assess bottlenecks and opportunities for improving food security EWS for enhanced resilience in East and Southern Africa (ESA). Disasters caused by climate extremes such as tropical cyclones and severe storms, floods, heat waves and droughts are jeopardizing Africa’s hard-won development achievements towards further growth, food security and poverty reduction. In 2016 the food security situation deteriorated sharply in Africa–especially in East and Southern Africa as a result of droughts and floods linked in part to El Niño/La Niña–related phenomena. The risk of the El Niño-induced food insecurity in southern Africa in 2016, the recent risk of famine in northern Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, and South Sudan, and the recent outbreak of the Fall Armyworm (FAW) in ESA all demonstrate that responses are still largely reactive than proactive. Inadequate EWS, coupled with limited investment and weak institutional and technical capacity, are implicated in contributing to food insecurity-related emergencies in ESA.