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)
Zimbabwe has been hit hard with a string of hardships. After months of drought last year, the rainy season residents prayed for ended up causing serious flooding that affected over 300 people. To offer assistance, Taiwan Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation in Zimbabwe from Harare headed to Zaka to help. They offered hot meals as well as rice and water purifying tablets for the residents.
Maize price trends were mixed in February in the region. Tanzania and the DRC saw significant month-on-month (m-o-m) price increase of their main staple. Zambia and especially Tanzania registered the highest increase in the number of markets in ALPS Crisis.
Rainfall remains well below-average during peak rainy season in the Horn of Africa
Africa Weather Hazards
Light, uneven rainfall since late February has resulted in moderate to locally strong moisture deficits in many parts of southern South Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, southern Somalia, and northern Tanzania.
In March, maize grain prices fell almost everywhere in anticipation of the green harvest
Maize meal prices in most districts are below the year-on-year national average
Rice prices fell from February except in Chigubo, Mabalane, Doa, Marara and Magude Maize grain and cowpeas are still not available in most markets
Food security outlook
Head of government services for west and central Africa at African Risk Capacity
Disaster insurance offers a new model for economic self-sufficiency. In African countries, every $1 invested saves $4.40 in the aftermath of an emergency
Drought is a slow and predictable natural disaster. We know it will happen again, and we know much of its effects are preventable if money is invested at the right time. So why do we wait for people to die from hunger induced by droughts before we start calling for emergency relief money?
MAPUTO – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes an additional US$2.7 million contribution from the United States to support pregnant and nursing women, and people living with HIV (PLHIV) or TB on anti-retroviral treatment. The funding will be used to buy, transport and distribute fortified blended food for the treatment of malnutrition among these vulnerable groups, whose situation has been made worse by the recent drought.
This report is jointly produced by the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA), Government of Malawi, the United Nations Office of the Resident Coordinator and humanitarian partners in Malawi.
• In May 2016, the Malawi Vulnerability Annual Assessment Committee (MVAC) revealed that 6.5 million people, about 39% of the total population was at risk of food insecurity in 24 of the 28 districts. However, in October 2016, a field assessment to update the situation reported that the number had increased to 6.7 million people.
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Cereal production forecast to rebound in 2017 owing to favourable weather conditions
Food prices increased slightly in early 2017 on an annual basis
Food security expected to improve following stressed conditions in 2016/17
Favourable seasonal rains expected to boost 2017 cereal production
Dryness remains in the Greater Horn of Africa
Africa Weather Hazards
Below-average and erratic rainfall since December has resulted in strong moisture deficits and degraded ground conditions. However, above-average rainfall since March has helped to alleviate seasonal dryness.
Despite an increase in moisture following the passage of Tropical Cyclone Enawo during early March, long- term moisture deficits remain due to very poor rains earlier in the season throughout central and eastern Madagascar.
WFP launched its five-year Country Strategic Plan (2017 -2021), strengthening its resilience and social protection work in the country.
WFP extends its LSA by a month to April 2017 in 13 Districts, in order to dis-incentivize early harvest and consumption of immature crops.
WFP urgently requires US$2.5 million in additional resources to continue providing assistance to the increasing number of refugees arriving at Tongogara Camp.
The European Commission has announced humanitarian assistance of €47 million to help people in need in the Great Lakes and Southern Africa and Indian Ocean regions, who continue to face the consequences of years of conflict and displacement, as well as widespread food insecurity and natural disasters.
USAID spent about $1.4 billion in fiscal year 2016 on international food aid projects under the Food for Peace Act. These funds have traditionally been used to buy food in the United States and transport it abroad. In addition, USAID also spends some of this money on implementation and support costs, such as storing food in warehouses and—in recent years—providing cash and food vouchers to individuals.
Harare, April 6, 2017 – The U.S. Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), provided humanitarian assistance for over 2 million Zimbabweans during the El Niño-induced drought that led to widespread crop failure and left 4.1 million rural Zimbabweans food insecure. As the annual harvest approaches, USAID and its partners are reviewing the progress and achievements of a successful drought response and continuing ongoing activities that aim to improve long-term food security for Zimbabwe.
This report is produced by Office of the Resident Coordinator in Zimbabwe in collaboration with humanitarian partners. It covers the period from January - April 2017. The next report will be issued on or around June 2017.
The Government of Zimbabwe has declared the flooding situation affecting 36 districts in the country a national disaster, and has appealed for international assistance.
Increasing moisture deficits recorded in the Greater Horn of Africa
Africa Weather Hazards
Below-average and erratic rainfall since December has resulted in strong moisture deficits and degraded ground conditions across parts of northeastern Mozambique.
Despite a robust increase in rainfall following the passage of Tropical Cyclone Enawo during early March, considerable long-term moisture deficits remain due to well below-average rains earlier in the season throughout northern Madagascar.
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Production in 2017 forecast to rebound strongly to near-record high
Imports of maize up on a yearly basis in 2016/17, but country is expected to return to being net-exporter in 2017/18 marketing year
Maize prices fall sharply, on the back of expected bumper crop that will ease supply pressure
Maize production forecast to reach near-record high in 2017
The Zimbabwe Peace Project recorded various human rights violations in the month of March. Civic and political rights violations were recorded in both urban areas and rural areas.
In urban areas the violations were mainly the denial of the right to freedom of assembly, expression and association.
Onaame-Prospects of a good harvest have disappeared for many subsistence mahangu farmers in various villages in Ohangwena Region as their crops are currently submerged in floodwater.
Crops have turned yellow and villagers whose livelihoods depend on mahangu as a staple food have abandoned their fields, bracing themselves for the hard times ahead. Farmers said the situation does not only threaten their food security, but also affects them emotionally as last year’s harvest was also next to nothing because of the recurring drought.