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The Climate Prediction Centre is predicting El Niño climatic conditions during the main 2018-19 growing season with 70-75% probability while IRI has increased the probability to more than 85%. Furthermore, the forecasts suggest a likelihood of a weak to moderate El Niño event. Historically El Niño climatic conditions have resulted in reduced rainfall across the southern part of Southern Africa.
• The 2017-18 rainfall season was characterized by a late start, an extended mid-season dry spell (December-January) and heavy rains from February into April. The dry spell caused moisture stress and wilting of the early planted crops in many areas in Botswana, south-western Madagascar, southern Malawi, southern and some central parts of Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Cereal production during the upcoming harvest season in Southern Africa is expected to be below average, despite the heavy late rains, which benefitted the late planted crops. This is due to a late start of the rainy season, minimal to no rains during the critical planting season (December -January), high temperatures and the prevalence of Fall Armyworm (FAW).
Donors and Southern African governments must act swiftly, collaboratively, and generously in responding to the South African Development Community’s (SADC) announcement of a regional drought emergency triggered by El Nino, warn Oxfam, Save the Children and CARE.
In a statement this week, SADC Council has approved a ‘Declaration of the Regional Drought Disaster’. Approximately 28-30 million people in Southern Africa now face severe levels of hunger and food insecurity. If no action is taken, that number could rise quickly to 49 million.
The devastation of the earthquake and tsunami that hit South Asia and Somalia will take years to address. Yet, decisions are being made now that will affect the direction of recovery efforts for years to come. As a global community, we must challenge ourselves to assemble a response that meets our highest aspirations for excellence and humanity.
This statement sets out six principles that could help ensure that we all work with a common purpose to provide the best we have to offer as a global community.
Countries that suffered heavy losses as a result of the South Asia tsunami can learn some important lessons from the tiny village of La Linea, Guatemala, far away on the other side of the world.
The British public has donated a marvellous =A376 million on the web and phones since the launch of the Disasters Emergency Committee joint agency appeal at midday on Tuesday 28 December, and is on course to top =A3100 million.