As we write this, Africa is suffering from the strongest El Niño it has faced in decades, causing major floods and droughts throughout Africa, leading to rising economic losses and major impacts on the lives and livelihoods of millions across the continent. Countries across the continent are declaring states of emergency, and are calling on the international community for support.
Cyclical drought, food insecurity, cyclones, floods, disease outbreaks, and complex emergencies present significant challenges to vulnerable populations throughout the Southern Africa region. Between FY 2007 and FY 2016, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) and USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) provided humanitarian assistance in response to a diverse range of natural and manmade disasters.
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Drought-reduced 2016 harvest results in tighter maize supplies
Imports of maize forecast at over 3 million tonnes in 2016/17, more than double previous year’s level
Strengthening South Africa rand contributes to declining maize prices
Maize production in 2016 decreases steeply for second consecutive year
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and delegations from African countries as well as the African Union, agreed today on final steps to end the protracted Rwandan refugee situation after seven years of negotiations.
This ministerial meeting, hosted by UNHCR in Geneva, marks the last phase of a comprehensive solutions strategy for Rwandan refugees who fled their country between 1959 and 1998 to escape inter-ethnic violence and armed conflict.
South Africa - IOM will today sign a cooperation agreement with the Royal Dutch Embassy in Maputo, Mozambique, to provide funding worth EUR11.1 million for a four-year project dealing with sexual and reproductive health in migration-affected areas of southern Africa.
Despite the international attention that is currently focussed on migratory flows directed towards Europe and other Western countries, the continued flow of Ethiopian migrants and asylum seekers along the southern corridor to South Africa via Kenya, Tanzania and other southern African countries is significant.
23/09/2016 New Delhi, India – With 42 percent of the world’s population, the group of countries that make up the BRICS are in a position to shape agricultural policies that would strengthen global food security and transform rural societies and livelihoods, Kundhavi Kadiresan, Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said today.
15 September 2016, Johannesburg
Summary of conclusions and recommendations
Participants of the meeting:
RC and/or UNCT members from 12 countries in the southern Africa region, UN Regional Directors or their representatives, NGO regional Directors or their representatives, IFRC, SADC, World Bank, AfDB, regional UN agency staff.
Main conclusions and recommendations:
Session 1: Humanitarian response
GENEVA - African countries increased investments in the Global Fund as global health partners seek to galvanize all sources of funding to end AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics, and to build resilient and sustainable systems for health.
As part of efforts to strengthen and harmonise responses to migrants and refugees, the UN is to lead a global campaign to counter xenophobia. Announced by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in April, member states are expected to pledge their support for the campaign at the UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants taking place in New York today.
Pretoria – The problems that have plagued the Marabastad Refugee Reception Office in Pretoria are soon to come to an end as renovations at the offices are near completion.
The branch of Home Affairs, where asylum seekers apply for asylum in terms of section 21 of the Refugee Act, has long received complaints of corruption, long queues, overcrowding and criminal activities.
Pretoria - The Department of Water and Sanitation says it will continue with water restrictions across the country as the drought is far from over.
According to the department’s weekly report, national water storage is under increasing stress and shows a steady decline week-on-week.
“The Bloemfontein System, consisting of four dams serving mainly Mangaung, has revised its water restrictions to 30% [abstraction limit] for domestic and 75% for irrigation from the Caledon, which will be increased to 100% when transfers are made from Lesotho.
Cape Town – The Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Drought says government is intensifying relief efforts to those distressed areas hardest hit by water shortages, as dam levels continue to dip.
Leading a media briefing in Cape Town on Thursday, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des Van Rooyen said the severity of the drought situation has necessitated the imposition of water restrictions in a number of provinces.
Twenty-four countries* will participate in a large scale tsunami simulation exercise organized under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO on 7 and 8 September.
By Brigitte Leoni
PORT VICTORIA, Seychelles, 5 September 2016 - Memories of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami which claimed some 230,000 lives, will be revived this week as 24 countries take part in one of the largest tsunami simulations ever staged.
Today I announce the Australian Government will provide further support to southern Africa in response to the acute food shortages caused by severe El Niño conditions in the region.
Australia will provide $10 million to the World Food Programme to deliver food and nutritional support to 11.9 million drought-affected people in countries in southern Africa.
Pretoria - The National Department of Health will from September 2016 adopt a “test and treat” approach to HIV/AIDS in line with the World Health Organisation's guidelines.
The new guidelines for the treatment of people with HIV were announced by WHO in December 2015. The guidelines were based on new research that found that getting people diagnosed with HIV on treatment as soon as possible, regardless of CD4 levels, was beneficial.
More Countries Joining Ban Treaty
(Geneva, September 1, 2016) – Cluster munition attacks in Syria and Yemen are causing unacceptable civilian suffering and deserve a strong response, Human Rights Watch said today during the release of the Cluster Munition Monitor 2016 report.
The Government of Mauritius, in cooperation with the African Union Commission (AUC), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), will host a major conference of governments and partners in Africa which will examine progress in disaster risk reduction across the continent and the ongoing challenges of responding to extreme weather events which have left 60 million people in severe need across the region.
The bulk of Southern African Development Community (SADC) is likely to receive normal to above-normal rainfall for most of the period October to December (OND) 2016 and the January to March (JFM) 2017. However, northernmost Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) northern Angola, southernmost of Tanzania, northern Mozambique, the islands states of Seychelles and eastern-most Madagascar are more likely to receive normal to below-normal rainfall most of the season.
THE TWENTIETH ANNUAL SOUTHERN AFRICA REGIONAL CLIMATE OUTLOOK FORUM