Food Assistance Fact Sheet - Tanzania

January 4, 2017

Food Security Situation

Map of Tanzania
CIA World Factbook

Although refugee numbers had been declining in recent years, the current political instability and violence in neighboring Burundi have driven thousands of refugees into Tanzania. Since April 2015, the number of Burundians seeking refuge in Tanzania has jumped from approximately 3,000 to 179,000, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), bringing the total number of refugees in Tanzania to over 237,000 as of November 2016. To accommodate the high number of refugees, the Government of Tanzania has allocated three new camps in addition to Nyaragusu, two are currently operational but the third is facing water challenges and has not yet opened.  

Protection and assistance needs remain high for refugees. Refugees living in Tanzania are not permitted to work nor move outside the camps, limiting their ability to access food and work. According to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), most refugees are currently facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) levels of acute food insecurity even with ongoing humanitarian assistance. The newer arrivals are coming in a compromised state, making them more vulnerable than those who arrived earlier in the year. Those who arrived after August are likely to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3!) levels of acute food insecurity through May 2017. As a coping mechanism, many of the refugees provide informal casual labor to the surrounding farms, which also helps alleviate tensions with the host communities.

Food Assistance Programs

The Office of Food for Peace (FFP) supports the UN World Food Program (WFP) as it targets approximately 350,000 refugees living in Tanzania, primarily from Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. FFP partners with WFP to provide essential food support for refugees in the Tanzanian camps, providing general food rations to all refugees as well as providing supplementary nutritious foods (i.e. Super Cereal) for children under five, pregnant women, lactating mothers and hospitalized patients. These activities improve food consumption, reduce stunting and wasting, and ensure acute malnutrition rates do not increase. In FY 2017, FFP is also providing $10 million in International Disaster Assistance (IDA) funds to WFP for local procurement of Tanzanian maize, allowing food to reach refugee populations more quickly and strengthening local markets.

Food for Peace Contributions

Total Contributions:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Fiscal Year 2017 $17.4 million 5,430 MT
Fiscal Year 2016 $15.0 million 9,400 MT
Fiscal Year 2015 $3.1 million 310 MT
Fiscal Year 2014 $3.8 million 3,440 MT
Fiscal Year 2013 $5.6 million 4,550 MT

Fiscal Year 2017 Contribution Breakdown: 

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Title II Development ---- ----
Title II Emergency $7.4 million 5,430 MT
Emergency Food Security Program (EFSP) $10.0 million ----

Food Security Situation information is provided by WFP and FEWS NET as of December 2016
The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) is a standardized tool that aims to classify the severity and magnitude of food insecurity. The IPC scale, which is comparable across countries, ranges from Minimal—IPC I—to Famine—IPC 5. An "!" indicates that the phase classification would likely be worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance.  


Last updated: January 04, 2017

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