Early warning signs provide alarming indications of looming significant food supply shortages that are likely to impact on the next marketing season. The rains experienced in late March and early April provided some relief to livestock farmers, but arrived too late for both staple foods and cash crops. These adverse weather conditions are likely to reduce crop production in southern Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Malawi, Madagascar and South Africa. The negative impact of flooding will also affect food security in Malawi, Madagascar and Mozambique. (OCHA, 29 May 2015)
Nearly 29 million people are currently food insecure in southern Africa region mainly due to the carry-over effects of the past poor harvest season combined with other structural factors. Unless a two-track approach is quickly taken to address the current food insecurity and to establish measures to mitigate against the El Niño effects, the existing food insecurity will deepen and increase in scope with its effects will last till 2017. (Southern African Food and Nutrition Security Working Group, 17 Nov 2015)
The combination of a poor 2014/15 season and an extreme early dry spell during the 2015/16 rainy season to date (November to February) over southern and western Madagascar has resulted in an intense drought...It is now estimated that close to 1.14 million people are food insecure in seven districts of southern Madagascar (80% of the population). About 665 000 people are severely food insecure and in need of urgent emergency food security support until the end of the 2016/17 lean season...On 22 March, the government of Madagascar has declared a state of emergency for southern Madagascar. (ECHO, 30 Mar 2016)
Lesotho last had normal rainfall between April and May 2015... An estimated 15-30 percent of Lesotho’s population is in need of humanitarian assistance to help them cope with this acute drought situation. The Lesotho Vulnerability Assessment Committee (LVAC) report for 2015 indicates deterioration in the food security situation with the number of people in need going from 447,760 to 463,936 (an increase in prevalence from 26% to 33%). (IFRC, 06 Apr 2016)
In Malawi, the prolonged dry spells and floods not only affected maize production but other crops such as ground nuts have also been affected, and harvests are down by 21%. This left more than 2.8 million people in Malawi food insecure for a period of between three to 8 months. 25 out of the 28 Districts in Malawi were affected. Of the 2.8 million people affected 886,204 were living in the hard hit flood-affected districts and 1,947,008 were in districts affected by poor rainfall. An estimated 20% to 40% of Malawi’s population were at that time reported to be in need of humanitarian assistance to help them cope with the acute food shortage. On 12 April 2016, the President of Malawi declared a state of national disaster as a result of prolonged dry spells during 2015/2016 season. (IFRC, 18 Apr 2016)
Mozambique is facing severe drought in the Southern and Central region of the country affecting approximately 1.5 million people. The Government activated the institutional red alert in the most drought affected provinces such as, Tete, Sofala, Gaza, Inhambane and Maputo aiming to intensify and expand the response actions, disburse additional funds planned for emergency situations and mobilize additional resources through the cooperating partners. (OCHA, 04 May 2016)
Based on preliminary results, the ZimVAC has indicated that the prevalence of rural food insecurity in Zimbabwe will be higher than the 30 percent revealed by the January 2016 Rapid Assessment. The global acute malnutrition (GAM) prevalence is likely to increase beyond the 5.7 percent indicated in January. (WFP, 14 Jun 2016)
Between October 2014 and February 2015, Namibia experienced highly erratic rainfall patterns that negatively impacted the planting and cultivation seasons. The recent 2016 assessment done by the office of the Prime Minister and Ministry of Agriculture estimated that 729,134 people were food insecure and 595,839 need immediate assistance due to the drought situation. Prolonged dry spells and extensive flooding characterized the planting season and resulted in delayed planting and destroyed crops. As a result, the 2014/15 crop production yields were 46% below average which put parts of country at high risk of food insecurity. (IFRC, 03 Aug 2016.)
November marks the normal start of the lean season in most of the region, but most countries experienced an earlier than normal start to the lean season this year because of the impact of the El Niño-drought in late 2015 and early 2016. Poor households in the most affected parts of the region including areas in Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe continue facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity outcomes with increasing areas likely falling into Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes during the peak period (Jan-Mar 2017) in the absence of adequate humanitarian assistance. (FEWS NET, 23 Dec 2016)
Southern Africa now facing the peak of the El Niño-induced drought food security crisis, which is expected to last at least until the harvest in March/April 2017. Until then, WFP and its partners will maintain expanded operations, aiming to reach more than 13 million vulnerable people with relief, recovery, resilience and development activities ... WFP reached 9.9 million people in December 2016 and 10.6 million in January 2017. As of March 2017, $833 million has been raised for the humanitarian programmes in the RIASCO Action Plan, leaving a gap of $448,000. However, without additional funding, critical humanitarian needs will not be met. (OCHA, 6 Mar 2017)
- SADC: Regional Humanitarian Appeal (Jun 2016)
- FAO Southern Africa El Niño Response Plan (2016/17)
- RIASCO Action Plan for Southern Africa: Response Plan for the El Niño-induced Drought in Southern Africa (May 2016-Apr 2017)
- UNICEF El Niño Eastern & Southern Africa Region Investment Case (23 Jun 2016)
Food availability and access improve significantly as harvest starts
Delayed harvests result in extension of government and partner humanitarian assistance
Near average maize harvest expected due to favorable rainfall
By Deborah Kafanikhale
The USDA-funded Agribusiness Investment for Market Stimulation (AIMS) program, implemented by Global Communities (GC) since September 2014 in Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi, facilitates agribusinesses to access markets and finance as a way of bolstering domestic, regional and international trade of agricultural products. In Malawi, the program targets grains, livestock and horticulture value chains.
• Improved vegetation conditions across Southern Africa increase likelihood of aboveaverage harvests
• USAID partners provide assistance to cyclone- and drought-affected populations
• USAID/OFDA provides nearly $1.6 million to UNICEF to help address nutrition and WASH needs in southern Madagascar
GENEVA / LUSAKA (27 April 2017) – The situation of the right to food in Zambia will be investigated by United Nations Special Rapporteur Hilal Elver, during an official visit from 3 to 12 May 2017.
“I will pay special attention to the situation of peasants and smallholders, including women, and the efforts made to improve their livelihoods,” Ms. Elver said, launching the first visit to the country by an independent expert on the right to food mandated by the Human Rights Council.
In March, WFP scaled up the cash based transfer component significantly reaching 114,056 people, while 88,580 are receiving in-kind rations in March/April.
WFP’s Food by Prescription project remains underfunded. While the distribution of household rations resumed in November 2016, pipeline breaks are expected in June 2017.
Drought and Food Security:
On 3 March 2017, Namibia celebrated Africa Day for School Feeding. The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture in partnership with WFP and sponsors from the private sector commemorated the day at Hillside Primary School in Goreangab Dam, Windhoek. This day was celebrated to raise awareness of school feeding as an important food safety net for protection against hunger and investment in the education of children.
In March, WFP assisted 176,367 food-insecure people with cash and food. 53 percent of the beneficiaries were women.
WFP tracking indicates that the average maize prices decreased from M74/12.5kg in January to M72 in February. However, although lower than in 2016, the prices are 18 percent higher than the five year average.
The food security situation is gradually improving as manifested in the decline in negative coping strategies, according to WFP monitoring reports.
WFP Malawi continued sharing with the general public food price data collected through the mobile Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (mVAM) monitoring system via a new platform called Free Basics website on a Facebook page.
A study on the Emergency School Meals was conducted in eight treatment and eight control schools in two targeted districts, which showed that in Emergency School Meals-supported schools, enrolment increased by seven percent.
Tropical cyclone ENAWO made landfall in Antalaha district, in the north-east of Madagascar on 7 March. WFP has responded to the emergency by distributing High Energy Biscuits and food baskets to victims of the cyclone in most affected northeastern, south-eastern districts as well as the capital Antananarivo.
In March, WFP continued its drought emergency response to meet the needs of disaster-affected communities through food and cash-based unconditional assistance and nutrition support.
The Ministry of Health has issued a clearance letter allowing WFP to import 60,000 sachets of Micronutrient Powders (MNP) into the country. The permit allows WFP to implement the MNP project in 10 schools in Petauke District thru the end of December, 2017.
WFP launches its five-year Country Strategic Plan (2017-2021), strengthening its resilience and social protection work in the country.
WFP extends Leas Season Assistance (LSA) by a month to April 2017 in 13 Districts, in order to discourage early yield and consumption of immature crops.
WFP urgently requires USD 2.5 million in additional resources to continue providing assistance to the increasing refugee inflows at Tongogara Camp.
The increasing cases of mulnutrition in the Kweneng district has been attributed to shortage of food commodities resulting in the insufficient supply to primary schools and health facilities in some areas in the district .
This was revealed in a multi-sectoral report to the Drought Inter-ministerial Assessment Team presented by the Mogoditshane/ Thamaga Sub -district.
WaPOR: database dissemination portal and APIs
The FAO portal to monitor Water Productivity through Open access of Remotely sensed derived data (WaPOR) monitors and reports on agriculture water productivity over Africa and the Near East.
It provides open access to the water productivity database and its thousands of underlying map layers, it allows for direct data queries, time series analyses, area statistics and data download of key variables associated to water and land productivity assessments.
Projected food assistance needs for October 2017
By Andrew Brown
Successive droughts and failed crops in Malawi have left people in the grips of a hunger crisis. Desperate to feed her son, 18-year-old Shamim resorted to selling sex. UNICEF and partners are working to support others like her and to develop longer term solutions to protect children and adolescents.
LILONGWE – The Government of Japan has made a US$3.7 million contribution to food and nutrition security activities run by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and UNICEF in Malawi. Of this sum, US$2.57 million went to WFP and US$1.13 million to UNICEF.