Food Assistance Fact Sheet - Tanzania

July 12, 2016

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 141,000, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), bringing the total number of refugees in Tanzania to over 200,000 as of May 2016. 

  •  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 income. According to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), refugees who arrived prior to the November 2015 planting season are in Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) levels of acute food insecurity, and those who arrived after are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3!) levels of acute food insecurity, even with ongoing humanitarian assistance.

  • The March-to-May El Niño-induced rainfall was above average, leading to plentiful harvests, surplus maize stocks, and an improvement in household food security. However, food insecurity it likely to worsen during the lean season starting in October. Poor households in the northeastern part of the country will likely experience an early lean season and are expected to move to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels of acute food insecurity. The Tanzanian government continues to handle their food insecurity challenges through internal mechanisms without requesting international food aid.   

Food Assistance Programs

  • The Office of Food for Peace (FFP) supports the UN World Food Program (WFP) as it targets approximately 140,000 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 2016, FFP is also providing support through WFP for local procurement of Tanzanian maize, allowing food to reach populations more quickly and strengthening local markets. 

Food for Peace Contributions

Total Contributions:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Fiscal Year 2016 $15 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 2012 $7.8 million 6,270 MT

Fiscal Year 2016 Contribution Breakdown: 

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Title II Development ---- ----
Title II Emergency $15 million 9,400 MT
Emergency Food Security Program (EFSP) ---- ----

Food Security Situation information is provided by WFP and FEWS NET as of July 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: July 18, 2016

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