Southern Malawi has faced several consecutive years of poor harvests as a result of weather-related shocks, especially dry spells. In addition, the devaluation and depreciation of the local currency in May 2012 has significantly lowered consumer purchasing power as prices of basic commodities and staple food continue to rise. Based on the results of its post-harvest food security assessment, the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) projected that in 2012/2013 consumption period, 1.63 million people in 15 mainly southern districts would be unable to adequately access food in order to meet their basic needs. (FEWS NET, 31 Jul 2012)
An initial Food Insecurity Response Plan with an estimated budget of $48 million was presented by the Government of Malawi with the support of the humanitarian partners in Aug 2012 (Resident Coordinator, 30 Aug 2012).
The MVAC conducted a follow-up assessment in Oct 2012 and projected that the number of vulnerable population had increased from 1.63 million to 1.97 million people, representing a 21% increase (Govt, 31 Oct 2012).
For the 2013/14 consumption period, the MVAC's National Food Security Forecast projected that 1.4 million people in the 21 districts would be food insecure, representing 9.5 per cent of the population, with the Northern region being the worst affected. (Govt, 15 Jul 2013)
Although response programming was initially underfunded, funding for assistance programming through February 2014 was fully secured by November. Stressed and Minimal acute food insecurity outcomes among poor households were expected to continue during the peak of the lean period (January through March 2014). (FEWS NET, 29 Nov 2013)
During the 2013/14 planting season two livelihood zones, Central Karonga and Middle Shire, experienced prolonged dryness and and early cessation of rains, resulting in production shortfalls in localized areas. Acute food insecurity in these livelihood zones will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) in June. Food security conditions are likely to deteriorate further and will result in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) between July and September. (FEWS NET, 18 Jun 2014.
FOOD SECURITY AND NUTRITION
Nutrition challenges are not only about a lack of food. Malnutrition often arises when there is a gap in knowledge about positive nutrition behaviours – including what to eat, the importance of a balanced diet, and how to prepare foods to retain nutrients. Where CPAR works, diets are typically heavily starch based, limited to one or two food groups and locally available nutritious foods have been overlooked. This is why CPAR integrates nutrition and health education into all of our programming.
• The early stages of the 2014-2015 growing season in Southern Africa were characterized by significant rainfall deficits in an area extending across eastern Zambia, northern Zimbabwe, northeastern Mozambique and Malawi. The crop growing regions of eastern South Africa and Madagascar were also affected. The rainfall deficits led to vegetation levels being significantly depressed across these regions.
Tracking food security trends in vulnerable countries
· According to the Food Security and Agriculture Cluster analyses, 9.8 million people in Syria need various types of food, agriculture and livelihood-related assistance.
· As fighting prevails in Iraq, an estimated 2.2 million people across the governorates of Anbar, Kirkuk, Diyala, Ninewa and Salah al-Din are in need of emergency food assistance.
The Government of Malawi together with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and other partners are today launching a lean season relief operation to meet the food and nutrition needs of the most vulnerable people affected by low household crop production and high food prices.
A favorable distribution of rainfall was observed over Southern Africa during the past week.
Seasonally-dry weather observed in Eastern Africa.
Appeal Target: US$ 131,426.93
Balance Requested: US$ 26,426.93
Geneva, 17 December 2014
Geneva, 17 December 2014 Dear Colleagues,
Delayed rains are likely to negatively impact crops and could extend the lean period
Despite heavy rains in localized areas, rainfall deficits persist in East and Southern Africa
Africa Weather Hazards
Low and poorlydistributed seasonal Deyr rains have led to growing moisture deficits and deteriorated ground conditions throughout several local areas of southern Somalia, central Kenya, and coastal Tanzania. Recent rains have relieved dryness over most parts, but rainfall deficits remain in many local areas.
World cereal production in 2014 is forecast to surpass last year’s record, boosting stocks to a 15-year high.
Maize export prices increased significantly in November supported by lower than previously expected yields of the 2014 crop in the United States of America. Wheat export prices strengthened in general, while rice quotations declined. Overall, however, cereal export prices persisted at levels below those of a year earlier, reflecting ample global supplies.
The Desert Locust (SGR1 ) situation deteriorated along the Red Sea coast in the central outbreak region during November. Aerial and ground operations treated swarms and groups of adults and hoppers on close to 83,000 ha in Sudan during this month. A few adult locusts were detected on the Gulf of Aden & the Red Sea coastal plains in Yemen the last week of November. No locusts were reported in Ethiopia, Oman or Somalia and no reports were received from Eritrea or Saudi Arabia during this period (DLCO-EA, DLMCC/Yemen, LCC/Oman, PPD/Sudan).
Short season (Vuli) in bimodal areas of northern Tanzania starts well
Good late-November rains in south-east Botswana and north-west South Africa help to ease dry conditions
Delayed onset of rains in southern Malawi, central Mozambique, eastern Zambia, and northern Zimbabwe
In West Africa, staple food markets were well supplied in October with carryover stocks and early grain, tuber, and legume harvests. Staple food prices were stable or declining, except in deficit areas of Niger, Chad, and Mauritania and conflict-affected areas of northeastern Nigeria. The Ebola outbreak has led to both official and voluntary restrictions on the movement of goods and people in affected countries, resulting in atypical market trends in some areas.
Maize, rice, and cassava are the most important food commodities. Markets selected represent the entire geographic length of the country: two markets in each of the north, center, and south. In the north, Karonga is one of the most active markets in maize and rice and is influenced by informal cross-border trade with Tanzania. Mzimba is a major maize producing area in the northern region. Salima, in the center along the lake, is an important market where some of the fishing populations are almost entirely dependent on the market for staple cereals.
Humanitarian assistance for food insecure areas is fully funded
Food security in southern Africa relies upon small-scale agriculture, a sector in which women take the lead. However, smallholder farmers are among the most vulnerable people to food insecurity, often lacking the resources and access needed to produce or procure adequate food. The effects of climate change exacerbate their vulnerability, which further compromises the food security of the entire region.
Meet Bettie Kawonga, a 2014 Scholar in the Borlaug Higher Education for Research and Development Program, implemented by Michigan State University and supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development under Feed the Future.
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 is compared to last year and the recent five-year average. 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.
The impacts of climate change in Africa will be significant and long-term. Long-lived infrastructure and development planning are likely to be particularly affected. Factoring climate change into their design and implementation is, therefore, vital to development outcomes. Yet we know very little about how long-term climate information is used in African decision-making.