9 February 2016, JOHANNESBURG – Zimbabwe has become the third country in Southern Africa to declare a disaster after Lesotho and Malawi amidst a prolonged drought that has resulted in food shortages. The United Nations estimates that 30 million people in the region are in dire need of food assistance. World Vision is calling on donor countries to increase the amount of food assistance available as the number of affected people is likely to increase.
The current El Niño event is signalled to be the strongest and longest event in 35 years. For southern Africa, El Niño usually means less rainfall in most countries but high rainfall in northern Tanzania and DRC. Across vast areas of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana, this has been the driest October-December, since 1981.
Lesotho and Zimbabwe have declared a state of disaster following the affects of drought caused by El Niño. Most provinces in South Africa have also declared a state of disaster.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has been monitoring forecasts for the current El Niño since early 2015. It is using early warning information to design and implement early actions knowing that anticipatory action can mitigate or even prevent disasters from happening.
What is El Niño?
El Niño is the warming of sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific. While the main threats to food production are reduced rainfall and drought in some regions, El Niño can also cause heavy rains and flooding in others.
PRETORIA, February 5, 2016 - The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and a Regional Coordinating Mechanism (RCM) representing a group of 10 Southern African countries today signed a landmark grant to pioneer innovative models to reduce high rates of TB in the mining sector.
- El Niño“drought effect” likely to have a long-lasting impact as people’ resilience continues to be eroded
- Ethiopia battling worst drought in decades
- Drought, food in security and power shortages stalk southern Africa region
- Cholera, a preventable disease, kills thousands across eastern and southern Africa
- Protracted conflicts to complicate humanitarian situation
- Funding shortfalls paralyse humanitarian responses
Globally, millions of vulnerable households are at risk of increased hunger and poverty due to droughts and floods as a result of a climatic occurrence: El Niño. This phenomenon is not an individual weather event but a climatic pattern which occurs every two to seven years and lasts 9-12 months. No two El Niño events are ever the same and it is thought that this particular occurrence could be the most powerful on record. The strongest El Niño in 1997/1998 killed some 21,000 people and caused damage to infrastructure worth US$ 36 billion.
This bulletin examines trends in staple food and fuel prices, the cost of the basic food basket and consumer price indices for 69 countries in the fourth quarter of 2015 (October to December). The maps on pages 6–7 disaggregate the impact analysis to sub-national level.
• During Q4-2015, FAO’s global cereal price index fell by a further 15.2 percent year-on-year because of abundant supplies and sluggish demand. The index returned to the level seen before the food price crisis of 2007-08.
Most parts of the region expecting significantly reduced harvest due to drought conditions
60 million PEOPLE WILL BE AFFECTED BY EL NIÑO IN THE FOUR MOST AFFECTED REGIONS
2.8 million PEOPLE REQUIRE HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE IN GUATEMALA AND HONDURAS
10.2 million PEOPLE IN NEED OF EMERGENCY FOOD IN ETHIOPIA
14 million FOOD INSECURE PEOPLE IN SOUTHERN AFRICA – EXCLUDING SOUTH AFRICA
El Niño status
Nairobi, 29 janvier 2016 (IRIN) - Cette année, l’Afrique australe est confrontée au risque de mauvaises récoltes, car les précipitations ont atteint leur niveau le plus bas dans une région où 29 millions de personnes vivent déjà sans un accès fiable à une alimentation bon marché et nourrissante en quantité suffisante.
« Les perspectives sont alarmantes, car plusieurs zones n’ont connu que peu ou pas de précipitations et la fenêtre de plantation des céréales se ferme rapidement ou s’est déjà fermée dans certains pays », a mis en garde le Programme alimentaire mondial (PAM).
Background and purpose
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has as its **Strategic Objective 5** to “Increase the resilience of livelihoods to threats and crises”. In support of its national counterparts, FAO aims to address the current and future needs of vulnerable people affected by the 2015‒2016 El Niño event.
By Obi Anyadike, Africa Editor
NAIROBI, 28 January 2016 (IRIN) - Southern Africa is facing the threat of extensive crop failures this year as a result of record low rainfall in a region in which 29 million people already don't have reliable access to enough affordable and nutritious food.
“With little or no rain falling in many areas and the window for the planting of cereals closing fast or already closed in some countries, the outlook is alarming,” the World Food Programme has warned.
Genetic diversity of livestock can help feed a hotter, harsher world
Despite growing interest in safeguarding biodiversity of livestock and poultry,genetic erosion continues
Summary of WFP assistance: WFP implements two Development Projects, each with a focus on assisting the most food insecure groups of people in Swaziland: orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), and vulnerable people infected with HIV and tuberculosis (TB). In addition, WFP enhanced the Government's capacity to manage food and nutrition security interventions, including food security, monitoring and emergency preparedness and response.
The current growing season (October 2015 – April 2016) in Southern Africa is developing under the peak phase of El Nino that is about to become the strongest on the record.
• The first phase of the growing season is characterized by severe and widespread rainfall deficits. Across vast areas of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana, this has been the driest October-December since at least 1981.
October to December 2015 was the driest in at least 35 years in several southern parts of the region.
Large decreases in planted area are expected in some areas, as planting windows close
Vegetation conditions improved in some central parts, though conditions remained very poor in many southern areas
Above normal rainfall was received in some western parts of the region in December, helping to reduce the overall rainfall deficits in those areas.
JOHANNESBURG – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is increasingly concerned about food security in southern Africa where an estimated 14 million people are facing hunger following prolonged dry spells that led to a poor harvest last year.
The El Niño global weather event, which is leading to even worse drought across the region, is already affecting this year’s crop. With little or no rain falling in many areas and the window for the planting of cereals closing fast or already closed in some countries, the outlook is alarming.
Many countries across the African continent face recurrent complex emergencies, frequent food insecurity, cyclical drought, and sudden-onset disasters such as earthquakes, floods, and storms. In FY 2015, as in previous years, USAID/OFDA not only responded to urgent needs resulting from disasters, but also supported DRR programs that built resilience and improved emergency preparedness, mitigation, and response capacity at the local, national, and regional levels.
Persistently below-average rainfall leads to drought in many parts of Southern Africa
Africa Weather Hazards