Food security has improved in much of East Africa thanks to average or above average rainfall in the latter half of 2012, but millions of people still remain vulnerable, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) announced Wednesday (January 16th).
In its East Africa Food Security Outlook Update, FEWS NET said despite the improvements, 14.9 million people in East Africa face higher levels of food insecurity due to conflict, high food prices, flooding, poor livestock conditions and below average harvests in Somalia and Ethiopia.
South-eastern and coastal Kenya received especially below-average rainfall between October and December and is expected to have a poor harvest through March, as they have been producing about 65% of their normal total. Staple food prices are already high and food scarcity is likely to remain at crisis levels through April. Western Kenya, however, is benefiting from a crop surplus.
Southern Somalia and northern Tanzania also received below-average rains and are likely to have a below-average harvest.