GLOBAL HEALTH IMPACTS
• Severe drought and associated food insecurity, flooding, rains and temperature rises due to El Niño 2015-2016 are causing a wide range of health problems, including disease outbreaks, malnutrition and disruption of health services.
• El Niño 2015-2016 is affecting more than 60 million people, especially in Eastern and Southern Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and Asia-Pacific.
The current rainfall season has been the driest in the last 35 years across several parts of the Southern Africa Region. Two consecutive below-average rainy seasons have significantly impacted crop and livestock production, cereal prices, water availability, and livelihoods.
Food and nutrition security in the region also remains extremely fragile, with the situation expected to worsen. Overall, 28 million people are estimated to be at risk of food insecurity.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are given a tremendous opportunity to help the millions of people, families, and communities affected by one of the strongest El Niño episodes in history. Together, we must now act to prevent enormous suffering by supporting the national and international response to the immediate needs and indeed for longer-term resilience.
By Adam Fysh
LUANDA, 22 April 2016 – Six southern African countries have taken a key step in their efforts to implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, a 15-year global agreement to curb the impact of natural and man-made hazards, by starting a programme to harness data.
As southern African countries deal with the effects of El Nino and prepare for La Nina, representatives of disaster risk management authorities in the sub-region convened this week to kick off a risk knowledge programme focused on how to measure losses caused by disasters, to help inform policy and development planning.
Nairobi, 16 April 2016 – With another season of inadequate rainfall, missed plantings, and failed harvests, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is warning that the number of families dependent on food aid across southern Africa will most certainly increase in the coming months.
An estimated 28 million people are currently food insecure across the region. That figure is expected to increase to 49 million before the end of the year.
Blantyre, Malawi | AFP | Wednesday 4/13/2016 - 11:22 GMT
by Félix MPONDA
Malawi and Mozambique sounded alarm bells on Wednesday over worsening food shortages caused by severe drought as concerns grow over a hunger crisis spreading across much of southern Africa.
Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Zambia are also suffering food supply problems, while South Africa has said the recent drought was its worst in more than 100 years.
MATSIENG, Lesotho – Lesotho’s digital Population and Housing Census 2016 kicked off successfully with the ‘first enumeration’ of the Royal Homestead, the Head of State His Majesty King Letsie III and his family, in Matsieng on Sunday 10 April.
The launch also included the enumeration of the household of the Deputy Prime Minister, Mothetjoa Metsing, and his family in Mahobong, Leribe. The Prime Minister, Dr. Pakalitha Mosisili, is expected to be enumerated today.
By: Thea Rabe, Norwegian Red Cross
When the Ntsoa family realized they were not going to get any harvest from their land in southwestern Lesotho this season, Mathabo Ntsoa’s daughter had to leave to find work in the city. Now, Mathabo, 65, is left alone in the village, taking care of her three grandchildren.
“We have nothing. Nothing to plough, nothing to harvest,” Mathabo says, while her youngest granddaughter Rethabile, aged 3, sits between her legs.
MASERU – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is giving cash assistance to 21,000 vulnerable people in Lesotho’s two districts worst-affected by the El Niño-related drought. This is WFP’s first ever emergency cash relief operation in the Mountain Kingdom.
By Tsitsi Matope — 24 March 2016
Hundreds of thousands of people are facing hunger as an El Niño-related drought takes its toll in Lesotho. To reduce its impact, WFP is giving money to the most vulnerable families in two of the worst-affected districts.
Donors and Southern African governments must act swiftly, collaboratively, and generously in responding to the South African Development Community’s (SADC) announcement of a regional drought emergency triggered by El Nino, warn Oxfam, Save the Children and CARE.
In a statement this week, SADC Council has approved a ‘Declaration of the Regional Drought Disaster’. Approximately 28-30 million people in Southern Africa now face severe levels of hunger and food insecurity. If no action is taken, that number could rise quickly to 49 million.
•Over 534,000 people are at risk of food insecurity up to June 2016 (one in every four people in Lesotho) – the number is likely to go up beyond 725,000 people after June 2016.
•Over 377,000 people require immediate food or cash assistance to enable them to access food from the market as well as livelihood support to resuscitate own food production (revised figures will be available after June 2016 once crop forecast is available).
Below average precipitation and drought have raged since last year on the SADC region, the outlook for the remaining months of the current season indicated below average precipitation very likely over most of the eastern part of the region including Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, easternmost of Botswana, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland and the center of Madagascar. The drought situation and related consequences will persist during the coming months.
What is ACT?
Launched at the 2014 U.S. African Leaders Summit, the Accelerating Children’s HIV/AIDS Treatment (ACT) Initiative is a two-year effort to double the number of children receiving life-saving antiretroviral treatment (ART) in nine high-priority countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The $200 million initiative represents a joint investment by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Children's Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF).
SADC regional bloc agrees on short and medium/long term actions
29 February 2016, Johannesburg – Countries in the Southern African Development Community need to urgently implement a set of agreed-upon measures to mitigate the effects of El Nino. A strong El Niño has seen the 2015-2016 rainfall season being one of the driest in over 35 years in Southern Africa and has far reaching effects on main sectors including agriculture, fisheries, forestry, water, health, education and sanitation.
Pretoria, South Africa: 25 February 2016 – The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) today warned that a lack of funding means it is having to scale back activities to address the food insecurity situation facing millions of families across southern Africa.
Addis Ababa & Johannesburg - Severe water shortages caused by El Nino are putting millions of lives at risk and forcing mass migration as people search for water says international humanitarian aid agency World Vision.
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Poor production prospects for 2016 cereal crops due to El Nino‑associated dry conditions
Maize prices up on year-earlier levels, reflecting higher import costs and reduced 2015 output
Food security situation expected to worsen in 2015/16, on account of an expected production decline, poor livestock conditions and higher maize prices
Reduced seasonal rains severely weaken 2016 production prospects
JOHANNESBURG/NAIROBI, Kenya, 17 February 2016 – Almost one million children are in need of treatment for severe acute malnutrition in Eastern and Southern Africa, UNICEF said today. Two years of erratic rain and drought have combined with one of the most powerful El Niño events in 50 years to wreak havoc on the lives of the most vulnerable children.