The African Public Health Emergency Fund (APHEF or the Fund) was established by the Regional Committee in 2012 with the aim of providing catalytic resources for initiating timely responses to public health emergencies. Ever since, commitments have been made at every subsequent Regional Committee session to improve the functionality of this solidarity fund.
The SADC Ministers responsible for Agriculture and Food Security met on 22nd July 2016 in Ezulwini, Swaziland. The objective of the meeting was to review the Food Security situation and progress in the implementation of Regional programmes including the development of the Regional Agriculture Policy Investment Plan. The meeting was also intended to update Ministers on the Food Security situation in the Region following the drought induced by the El Niño phenomenon.
African states commit to eradicate cluster munitions and end the suffering they cause by stepping up efforts to universalize the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions and to strengthen the norm against cluster munitions use by condemning all such use.
Globally, millions of vulnerable people are experiencing increased hunger and poverty due to droughts, floods, storms and extreme temperature fluctuations as a result of a climatic occurrence: El Niño.
The 2015/2016 occurrence is one of the most severe in a half-century and the strongest El Niño since 1997/1998. The negative consequences of El Niño are foreseen to continue through 2017, particularly in Southern Africa where this event has followed multiple droughts compounding the already fragile situation.
Framing the FAO El Niño Response Plan
Situation and impact
Southern Africa has been struggling with an intense drought that has expanded and strengthened since the earliest stages of the 2015/16 agricultural season, driven by one of the strongest El Niño events of the last 50 years. The effects on food security and livelihoods have been exacerbated by sluggish economic performance in some countries and the depreciation of national currencies set against a background of chronic vulnerabilities.
The SADC El Niño Logistics and Coordination Team convened a workshop of Senior Officials from SADC Member States to facilitate the development of a Coordinated Regional Transportation Plan for Humanitarian Relief Cargo in the region.
The El Niño 2015-16 in the Context of Past El Niños
The 2015/16 El Niño Event
An El Niño event was officially declared in March 2015, gaining in intensity until it reached its peak in December 2015. The event came to an end in May 2016, becoming one the strongest on record, together with the El Niños of 1982-83 and 1997-98.
The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) monitors trends in staple food supply and price trends in countries at risk of food insecurity. The Regional Supply and Market Outlook report provides a summary of regional staple food availability, surpluses and deficits during the current marketing year, projected price behavior, implications for local and regional commodity procurement, and essential market monitoring indicators.
Botswana is the latest country to declare a State of Emergency due to the ongoing drought, joining Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. Additionally, eight of South Africa’s nine provinces, typically accounting for 90 percent of the country’s maize production, have been declared drought disaster areas.
WFP is significantly scaling-up food & nutrition programming to reach 11.9 million people, undertake technical analysis and provide supply-chain capacity support to national and regional action.
The Southern African Development Community declared a Regional Disaster and launched an Appeal amounting to U$2.4 billion to support the humanitarian needs and disaster response recovery of millions of people affected by the El- Niño-induced drought in the region. The declaring of the Regional Disaster and the launch of the Appeal was announced today the 26th of July 2016 in Gaborone, Botswana, by His Excellency Lt. General Dr.
- 17 million people will likely experience Crisis levels of food insecurity from January–March 2017, FEWS NET reports
- ZimVAC estimates more than 40 percent of Zimbabwe’s rural population faces food insecurity
- USAID contributes an additional $127 million for drought response activities in the region
- Approximately 18.3 million people in acutely drought-affected areas of Southern Africa will require emergency assistance between June 2016 and March 2017, according to the Southern Africa Development …
Tuesday 26 July 2016
Save the Children calls for critical support for the South African Development Community regional humanitarian appeal
As a result of one the strongest and most destructive El Niño phenomena ever recorded, the lives of 26.5 million children are now at risk of high levels of malnutrition, water shortages, and disease across 10 countries in eastern and southern Africa.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Agency for International Development announced $127 million in additional humanitarian and recovery assistance to people affected by severe drought in Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Madagascar, Lesotho, and Swaziland. With this announcement, the United States has provided nearly $300 million in humanitarian assistance to the region. In addition, the United States has also provided development investments to mitigate the drought's impacts and build resilience in Southern Africa.
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
- Cereal production in 2016 declined for second consecutive year on account of El Niño‑induced drought conditions
- Food prices rise moderately in 2016 with appreciation of Pula against South African Rand lessening imported inflation
- Drought in 2016 causes increase in number of food insecure
Drought conditions result in second consecutive below‑average cereal output in 2016
London, 14 July 2016
The impact of the current El Niño is felt globally, affecting over 60 million people. Southern Africa is of particular concern as the region is facing its worst drought in 35 years, with an estimated 40 million people facing food insecurity, including some 23 million in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.
Globally, millions of vulnerable people are experiencing increased hunger and poverty due to droughts, floods, storms and extreme temperature fluctuations as a result of a climatic occurrence: El Niño. This phenomenon is not an individual weather event but a climate pattern which occurs every two to seven years and lasts 9-12 months. The 2015/2016 occurrence is one of the most severe in a half-century and the strongest El Niño since 1997/1998 which killed some 21,000 people and caused damage to infrastructure worth US$ 36 billion.