There are 795 million hungry people in the world. The large majority live in Asia and Africa. They very often live in degraded, fragile, and shock-prone environments, with an alarmingly low asset base. Environmental degradation, resource scarcity, climate change and price volatility, together with other risks, make food and nutrition security a hard goal to accomplish. Increasing levels of risk have resulted in repeated needs for humanitarian emergency response to address the impacts of climate and other shocks.
The region experienced in many parts of the countries, the below normal rainfall conditions depicted by the devastating drought episode associated with the 2015/2016 El Nino event which threatens to impact negatively on livelihoods and quality of lives in the Region.
The SADC Climate Services Centre (CSC) had predicted, in August 2015, during SARCOF-19 the below normal rainfall conditions. This was consistent with the observed poor rainfall performance.
The current rainfall 2016/17 outlook is the opposite (reverse) of the last season.
The El Niño weather event has been in a neutral phase since May. Nevertheless, it continues to have a devastating impact on vulnerable people in parts of Eastern and Southern Africa, Asia and the Pacific, the Dry Corridor in Central America, and Haiti in the Caribbean. This event will also cause long term consequences for public health, nutrition, livelihoods, water and sanitation.
- While generous donor support has assisted humanitarian responders to reach millions of drought-affected people, significant funding shortages continue to impede the response. Only half of the funds for emergency food and agriculture assistance has been raised, while many other sectoral responses remain largely unfunded, including education (12 per cent funded); protection (18 per cent); water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) (18 per cent); and early recovery (26 per cent).
While the 2015-2016 El Niño weather event is now over, humanitarian needs continue to grow, and are not expected to peak until early 2017 as food security continues to deteriorate in many regions. WFP, working closely with partners on the ground, is rapidly scaling up life-saving operations for communities reeling from the catastrophic effects of El Niño.
Jeff Crisp, Katy Long
PROJECTED FOOD ASSISTANCE NEEDS FOR MARCH 2017
WHAT IS EL NIÑO / LA NIÑA AND WHAT ARE THE IMPACTS?
• El Niño refers to a pattern of unusually warm water stretching across the surface of the Pacific Ocean. It typically occurs every 3-7 years.
• La Niña is characterized by lower-than-normal air pressure over the Western Pacific. These low-pressure zones can contribute to increased rainfall and flooding.
Islamic Relief Worldwide’s annual report for 2015 has been published today, detailing our income, expenditure and the projects we undertook to help 8.3 million people across the globe.
The South African National Crop Estimate Committee’s (CEC) eighth maize production estimate (August 2016) stands at 7.29 million tonnes, up by 0.5 per cent from the previous estimate (July). The expected yields per hectare are 3.05 t/ha for white maize and 4.51 t/ha for yellow maize.
Education is a basic human right, enshrined in both the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child. And during times of displacement, education plays an additional, crucial role in fostering social cohesion, addressing psychosocial needs, and providing a safe and stable environment for those who need it most.
↗ Ample supplies and improved production prospects kept cereal prices generally under downward pressure. Maize and rice quotations fell the most, while high quality wheat prices firmed on strong demand.
↗ In Africa, food prices in South Sudan declined in August although they remained high, while in Nigeria the weak currency continued to underpin prices. In Southern Africa, decreasing maize quotations in South Africa eased prices in importing countries.
Prospects for global cereal production in 2016 continued to improve in recent months with significant upward revisions for maize and wheat, reflecting particularly favourable weather conditions in some of the large producing countries.
COUNTRIES IN NEED OF EXTERNAL ASSISTANCE: FAO estimates that 36 countries, including 28 in Africa, are in need of external assistance for food. Persisting conflicts and drought induced production declines are the main causes that have stressed food security in 2016.
In the wake of El Niño
We are living in the most unusually warm period in history and this is taking a huge toll on the world’s most vulnerable. 2015 was the hottest year on record and 2016 looks set to be even hotter.
As this year’s El Niño in the Pacific lurches towards becoming a La Nina1 , the run of record temperatures looks set to be broken again. But in some ways, this year is not unique. It has become widely acknowledged among the development community that weather-related disasters are the ‘new normal’.
In Somalia, a veil of shame and silence hangs over the subject of sexual and gender-based violence.
Victims are reluctant to open up, even to the closest family members, let alone report their plight to law and justice officials. And why would they – when all too often it is men in uniform who act not as protectors, but as perpetrators?
‘We are facing a lot of problems,’ says Naima Ali Abdullah, Head of Women Empowerment in the Somalia Ministry of Women.