Food Assistance Fact Sheet - Tanzania

Map of Tanzania
Map of Tanzania

June 19, 2018


  • Refugees and other vulnerable communities in Tanzania face persistent food insecurity, despite rapid economic growth and domestic agricultural production that meets national food requirements, according to the UN World Food Program (WFP).
  • Political instability and violence in neighboring Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have driven thousands of refugees into Tanzania. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that nearly 241,000 Burundians have taken refuge in Tanzania since conflict broke out in the capital of Bujumbura in April 2015. This brings the total number of refugees and asylum-seekers in Tanzania to approximately 323,000, as of April 2018.
  • Localized food deficits occur at regional, district and household levels mainly due to dependence on rain-fed agriculture and limited use of modern farming techniques. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, poor rainfall has reduced food production in northeastern regions, and poor households will likely remain in Stressed (IPC 2) levels of food insecurity until the July harvest. However, the largest need for food assistance is among refugee populations located in camps, who have limited livelihood opportunities and are heavily dependent on humanitarian assistance for their day-to-day needs.

*The Integrated 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 1) to Famine (IPC 5).


  • With support from USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP), WFP provides emergency assistance through general food distributions, whereby refugees receive monthly rations of food and specialized nutrition products purchased from local, regional and U.S. markets. WFP also provides pregnant and lactating women, children younger than 5 years of age and hospital in-patients with supplementary feeding programs for the prevention and treatment of malnutrition. In 2017, WFP reached more than 300,000 individuals with FFP support in Tanzania, over half of whom were younger than the age of 18.

Food for Peace Contributions

Total Contributions:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Fiscal Year 2018 $13.1 million 8,690 MT
Fiscal Year 2017 $24.0 million 27,924 MT
Fiscal Year 2016 $14.2 million 9,400 MT


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Last updated: June 19, 2018

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