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As we write this, Africa is suffering from the strongest El Niño it has faced in decades, causing major floods and droughts throughout Africa, leading to rising economic losses and major impacts on the lives and livelihoods of millions across the continent. Countries across the continent are declaring states of emergency, and are calling on the international community for support.
Cyclical drought, food insecurity, cyclones, floods, disease outbreaks, and complex emergencies present significant challenges to vulnerable populations throughout the Southern Africa region. Between FY 2007 and FY 2016, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) and USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) provided humanitarian assistance in response to a diverse range of natural and manmade disasters.
The El Niño induced drought resulted in 15 percent drop in regional cereal production from 29 million tonnes in 2015 to 26 million tonnes in 2016 which is about 11 percent decrease compared to the five-year average1 . Southern parts of Malawi, Mozambique and Madagascar as well as most of Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Botswana and Namibia have been significantly affected by this drought.
Approximately 40.8 million people (22.5% of rural population) will be food insecure in Southern Africa up to March 2017.
SADC declares Regional Drought Disaster and launches a Regional Humanitarian Appeal for assistance to support the ongoing and planned response efforts of its Member States.
The Humanitarian Appeal is a result of the negative impacts of the 2015/16 El Niño induced drought, the worst in 35 years,
Implications of Seasonal Climate Forecasts for Agrometeorology in 2016/2017
SARCOF is predicting normal to above normal rainfall in the southern parts of the region, while normal to below normal rainfall is expected in the northern areas
The latest model forecasts have reduced La Niña expectations, and suggest near-equal chances for neutral ENSO and weak La Niña conditions through end of 2016.
The SADC region is experiencing a devastating drought episode associated with the 2015/2016 El Nino event which threatens to impact negatively on livelihoods and quality of lives. The region experienced a delayed onset of the 2015/2016, rainfall season, followed by erratic rains. Analysis of rainfall performance shows that the October to December 2015 period, which represents the first half of the cropping season, was the driest in more than 35 years in several southern parts of the region
The region experienced in many parts of the countries, the below normal rainfall conditions depicted by the devastating drought episode associated with the 2015/2016 El Nino event which threatens to impact negatively on livelihoods and quality of lives in the Region.
The SADC Climate Services Centre (CSC) had predicted, in August 2015, during SARCOF-19 the below normal rainfall conditions. This was consistent with the observed poor rainfall performance.
The current rainfall 2016/17 outlook is the opposite (reverse) of the last season.
The El Niño weather event has been in a neutral phase since May. Nevertheless, it continues to have a devastating impact on vulnerable people in parts of Eastern and Southern Africa, Asia and the Pacific, the Dry Corridor in Central America, and Haiti in the Caribbean. This event will also cause long term consequences for public health, nutrition, livelihoods, water and sanitation.
While the 2015-2016 El Niño weather event is now over, humanitarian needs continue to grow, and are not expected to peak until early 2017 as food security continues to deteriorate in many regions. WFP, working closely with partners on the ground, is rapidly scaling up life-saving operations for communities reeling from the catastrophic effects of El Niño.
The 2015/16 agricultural season in Southern Africa was the driest in 35 years. In a region where over 70 percent of the population is dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods, and following two, and in some cases three, consecutive years of drought, El Niño has had devastating impacts on the lives and livelihoods of farmers and herders.
Les disparités entre les genres coûtent quelque 95 milliards de dollars US par an en moyenne à l’Afrique subsaharienne et ont culminé à 105 milliards de dollars de pertes en 2014 (soit 6 % du PIB régional), compromettant de ce fait les efforts du continent en faveur d’un développement humain et d’une croissance économique inclusifs, indique le Rapport.
Gender inequality is costing sub-Saharan Africa on average $US95 billion a year, peaking at US$105 billion in 2014– or six percent of the region’s GDP – jeopardising the continent’s efforts for inclusive human development and economic growth, according to the Africa Human Development Report 2016.
The bulk of Southern African Development Community (SADC) is likely to receive normal to above-normal rainfall for most of the period October to December (OND) 2016 and the January to March (JFM) 2017. However, northernmost Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) northern Angola, southernmost of Tanzania, northern Mozambique, the islands states of Seychelles and eastern-most Madagascar are more likely to receive normal to below-normal rainfall most of the season.
THE TWENTIETH ANNUAL SOUTHERN AFRICA REGIONAL CLIMATE OUTLOOK FORUM
The African Public Health Emergency Fund (APHEF or the Fund) was established by the Regional Committee in 2012 with the aim of providing catalytic resources for initiating timely responses to public health emergencies. Ever since, commitments have been made at every subsequent Regional Committee session to improve the functionality of this solidarity fund.
The SADC Ministers responsible for Agriculture and Food Security met on 22nd July 2016 in Ezulwini, Swaziland. The objective of the meeting was to review the Food Security situation and progress in the implementation of Regional programmes including the development of the Regional Agriculture Policy Investment Plan. The meeting was also intended to update Ministers on the Food Security situation in the Region following the drought induced by the El Niño phenomenon.
African states commit to eradicate cluster munitions and end the suffering they cause by stepping up efforts to universalize the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions and to strengthen the norm against cluster munitions use by condemning all such use.
Globally, millions of vulnerable people are experiencing increased hunger and poverty due to droughts, floods, storms and extreme temperature fluctuations as a result of a climatic occurrence: El Niño.
The 2015/2016 occurrence is one of the most severe in a half-century and the strongest El Niño since 1997/1998. The negative consequences of El Niño are foreseen to continue through 2017, particularly in Southern Africa where this event has followed multiple droughts compounding the already fragile situation.
The SADC El Niño Logistics and Coordination Team convened a workshop of Senior Officials from SADC Member States to facilitate the development of a Coordinated Regional Transportation Plan for Humanitarian Relief Cargo in the region.