MASERU – Lesotho is losing 1.9 billion Maloti (US$200 million) a year to the effects of child undernutrition, according to a new, country-specific Cost of Hunger in Africa (COHA) study released today. This amounts to more than 7 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The money is lost through increased healthcare costs, additional burdens on the education system and lower productivity of the workforce.
Low agricultural production has made households more reliant on food purchases; however, high unemployment and low disposable income limit people’s purchasing power.
The Government of Lesotho has revised the guidelines for cash transfer value during the emergency.
The latest mVam report shows that subsidized pulses are out of stock in many rural shops, thus the price of beans slightly increased in August.
This brief summarizes FEWS NET’s most forward-looking analysis of projected emergency food assistance needs in FEWS NET coverage countries. The projected size of each country’s acutely food insecure population (IPC Phase 3 and higher) is compared to last year and the recent five-year average and categorized as Higher ( p), Similar ( u), or Lower ( q). Countries where external emergency food assistance needs are anticipated are identified. Projected lean season months highlighted in red indicate either an early start or an extension to the typical lean season.
Africa Weather Hazards
Situation in Numbers
310,015 Children affected by drought
64,141 Children under 5 affected by drought
69,000 Vulnerable children in need of social safety nets
679,437 People in need of humanitarian assistance (LVAC)
*All numbers above are from the Rapid Drought Impact Assessment, February 2016 and the LVAC June 2016.
Southern Africa is experiencing the worst El Niño-induced drought in 35 years, following the failure of two consecutive rainy seasons. Governments have led the response. However, the scale of needs overwhelm national capacity. Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe have declared national drought emergencies, and Mozambique declared a red alert; all, together with Madagascar, calling for urgent international assistance.
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.
SARCOF projects neutral conditions with likely normal to above-normal rainfall from October to March
Initial assessments indicate adequate stocks of seeds within Southern Africa to meet humanitarian assistance needs
USAID partners continue to respond to drought-related humanitarian needs across the Southern Africa region
The El Niño induced drought resulted in 15 percent drop in regional cereal production from 29 million tonnes in 2015 to 26 million tonnes in 2016 which is about 11 percent decrease compared to the five-year average1 . Southern parts of Malawi, Mozambique and Madagascar as well as most of Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Botswana and Namibia have been significantly affected by this drought.
Approximately 40.8 million people (22.5% of rural population) will be food insecure in Southern Africa up to March 2017.
Flood and landslide threats will continue after Matthew hit the Hispaniola region hard
Africa Weather Hazards
Prolonged heavy rainfall during the season throughout the Niger River basin has triggered flooding and inundation along the Niger River in Mali, Niger, and Nigeria. Seasonal Inundation is also expected to be greater than it has been for many years across the inner Niger delta in Mali
The South African National Crop Committee’s (CEC) final maize production estimate for the 2015-16 harvest stands at 7.5 million tons, up by 3% from their previous estimate, but down by 24% from the previous season. More specifically, yellow and white maize production estimates were revised up by 5% and 2% from the previous estimates to 4.28 million tons and 3.25 million tons, respectively (Agbiz, www.agbiz.co.za).)
Land preparation and planting activities begin to increase
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.
Lesotho expects to receive above normal rainfall beginning October 2016. Normal to below normal rains are expected in February-March 2017 in the eastern part of the country.
WFP’s latest mVAM report revealed that femaleheaded households are 50 percent more likely to have poor food consumption than those headed by men.
Cereal production is estimated at 30,000 mt, two thirds lower than last year’s below-average level.
Maize production has declined by 61 percent compared to last year.
SADC declares Regional Drought Disaster and launches a Regional Humanitarian Appeal for assistance to support the ongoing and planned response efforts of its Member States.
The Humanitarian Appeal is a result of the negative impacts of the 2015/16 El Niño induced drought, the worst in 35 years,
Implications of Seasonal Climate Forecasts for Agrometeorology in 2016/2017
SARCOF is predicting normal to above normal rainfall in the southern parts of the region, while normal to below normal rainfall is expected in the northern areas
The latest model forecasts have reduced La Niña expectations, and suggest near-equal chances for neutral ENSO and weak La Niña conditions through end of 2016.