Southern Africa Food Security Outlook Update October 2013 to March 2014
Lower levels of assistance projected due to inadequate funding in affected areas in the region
• As the start of the lean season approaches, FEWS NET estimates that most parts of the region will remain food secure throughout the outlook period. However pockets of acute food insecurity exist in areas with reduced 2012/13 harvests due to shocks such as mid-season dry spells, pest infestations, and flooding. Food access by households in these areas is already problematic, and the lean season is indicated to have begun earlier than the normal October/November start.
• Throughout the outlook period, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes are expected in localized parts of Zimbabwe and Malawi in the presence of humanitarian assistance. This is due to insufficient resource levels, with funds currently estimated at approximately 60 percent of needs in both countries. In parts of Malawi, outcomes will worsen to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) between January and March as resources dwindle and assistance is interrupted.
• Intra-regional trade is stabilizing staple grain supplies. Formal and informal cross border trade (especially exports from surplus producing parts of Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and South Africa) is expected to continue to play a key role in supplying deficit area markets across the region (Figure 3).
• While staple food prices are rising seasonably, prices remain high and are increasing faster in areas where market supplies are atypically low. Although estimated regional production is similar to last year and above the five‐year average, tradable supplies are tighter due to localized production deficits in 2013, lower carry-over stocks, and strong export demand. This is expected to continue to exert atypical upward pressure on maize prices (Figure 4).
• The SARCOF 2013/14 rainfall forecast was issued by the SADC Climate Services Center in August. The forecast suggests most areas having enhanced chances of above-normal to normal rainfall. Should above-normal rains materialize, this will provide much needed relief to areas in Angola, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe, which all experienced droughts or extensive dry spells in the last one to two seasons (Figure 5).