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Publication | 3 March 2020

Tanzania: Acute Food Insecurity Situation November 2019 - April 2020 and Projection for May - September 2020

Global Food and Nutrition Security

Between November 2019 and April 2020, nearly one million people, 20% out of a population of 4.8 million in 16 analysed districts of Tanzania, were estimated to be experiencing severe food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 and 4). An estimated 224,700 people (5%) were classified in IPC Phase 4 (Emergency) and around 760,600 people (16%) in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis). Around 1,655,600 people (34%) were classified in IPC Phase 2 (Stress).

Food insecurity was driven primarily by a prolonged dry spell, coupled with Fall Armyworm infestations and erratic rainfall in the 2018/19 planting season, leading to decreased production in both the Masika and Msimu harvests.

The poor harvest resulted in limited food availability and a reduction of casual on-farm labour opportunities related to post-harvest activities. During this period, unusually high commodity prices were recorded in all districts analysed. Some of the households continued to deplete their assets with the majority of households applying consumption-based coping to moderate large food consumption gaps. Limited casual labour opportunities and unusually high commodity prices were observed in most of the districts analysed, playing a major role in driving food insecurity.

Between May and September 2020, nearly half a million people (10% of the population analysed) will likely be in a Crisis situation (Phase 3) and 7,600 (0.2%) people will likely be in an Emergency situation (Phase 4). Around 1,845,800 (38%) people are projected to be in a Stressed situation (Phase 2). The improvement in the level of food security during the projection period is attributed to the anticipated positive impact of for the Vuli and Msimu rains, which are expected to be normal.

The forecast rainfall is expected to have positive impacts on food production; which will positively contribute to food availability and access as a majority of households depend on farming and agro-pastoralism. Therefore, eventually their food stock is expected to increase during the projection period. Food access will also improve as a result of low prices of food commodities due to increased food supply from the harvest.