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INTRODUCTION & KEY TAKEAWAYS
This Outlook provides an overview of the anticipated humanitarian situation in the Great Lakes region from January to June 2018. It focuses on Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and neighbouring countries—including Angola, Kenya and Zambia—that have received refugees and asylum-seekers due to the DRC crisis.
- 75% shortfall in rain in large parts of the region during January
- 14,732 cholera cases and 218 deaths reported since 2017
- 234,200 people affected by floods and cyclones in 2018
JOHANNESBURG – The twin scourges of another prolonged dry spell and an invasive crop-eating worm are set to sharply curtail harvests across southern Africa, driving millions of people – most of them children – into severe hunger, warns the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).
1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Southern Africa continues to recover from the 2015/2016 El Niño-induced drought, which by January 2017 had affected about 41 million people across the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC)1. The substantial government- and SADC-led response, supported by $900 million from the international humanitarian community2, empowered farmers to take advantage of a good 2016/2017 rainfall season, delivering an April 2017 cereal harvest 3 per cent above the 5-year average.
I. INTRODUCTION AND KEY TAKEAWAYS
Despite the Minister of Agriculture’s maize export ban on commercial traders, exports of maize through WFP’s humanitarian window continues. As of 28 February, cumulative tonnage dispatches (13,000 mt contract) was 5,348 mt.
• Many countries across the African continent face recurrent complex emergencies, frequent food insecurity, cyclical drought, and sudden-onset disasters such as earthquakes, floods, and storms. In FY 2016, as in previous years, USAID/OFDA not only responded to urgent needs resulting from disasters, but also supported DRR programs that built resilience and improved emergency preparedness, mitigation, and response capacity at local, national, and regional levels.
Floods triggered by Tropical Cyclone Dineo impact vulnerable populations in Mozambique, Zimbabwe
FAO convenes regional meeting on armyworm infestations
USAID partners continue to respond to drought-related humanitarian needs throughout Southern Africa
Food Assistance in Numbers
- Over the three month peak of the crisis (January—March), WFP’s aims to reach more than 13 million people with food assistance in Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
- In January, food assistance reached 10.6 million people in the seven countries.
• Food insecurity persists throughout Southern Africa
• Above-average rainfall likely to improve crop production regionally; however, some areas at risk of flooding
• Armyworm infestations damage maize in Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe
Hunger is not inevitable As 2016 comes to an end, almost 130-million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. Throughout the year, natural hazards, conflict and protracted crises have placed a particularly heavy burden on the poor, who are often extremely vulnerable to shocks. Across 22-affected areas, 70-million people are currently in Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) Phase 3 or above.
40 million people food insecure in Southern Africa* *including in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
9.3 million tonne shortfall in regional crop production
643 000 livestock death
USD 109 million needed for emergency response until mid-2017
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.
Abnormal rainfall patterns during 2014/2015 have contributed to a spike in food insecurity, which is currently affecting at least 27.4 m people regionally (and this excludes Angola, which has yet to publish official figures; and Madagascar, which did not present to SADC, but where 1.9 m people are food insecure, of which 460,000 people are severely so). In Malawi and Zimbabwe, 2.8 m and 1.5 m people are food insecure respectively.
The South African Government has placed an immediate ban on the entry of non-South Africans from the Ebola-hit West African countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
The Southern Africa Regional Climate Outlook Forum (SARCOF), taking place from 27 to 29 August in Windhoek, Namibia, will develop the first regional seasonal forecast for the coming rainfall season.
Two cases of Ebola have been confirmed in northern DRC, which are said to be a different strain to the outbreak in West Africa.
Syria: Fierce fighting between opposition groups has led to further displacement in Deir-ez-Zor while a truce between the Government and the opposition is expected to see the Old City of Homs handed over to the Government after its recent campaign to retake it.
Syria: The security situation had deteriorated with escalating violence in the West of the country resulting in population displacement and hampering the delivery of humanitarian assistance. Large numbers of newly displaced are heading to the calmer regions of Idleb governorate, which hosts over 500,000 IDPs. In the East, Iraqi helicopters hit an opposition convoy in the first strike claimed by Iraq inside Syria since the conflict began.
Snapshot 16–23 April
Central African Republic: Renewed clashes between anti-balaka and Seleka fighters occurred in several locations in central, northern, and southwestern provinces. MISCA soldiers are being redeployed to cover areas previously secured by the Chadian contingent. A Christian religious leader was killed and four were abducted in two northern towns, while 30 Christian civilians were reportedly killed in a central town.