Southern Africa: Food Insecurity - 2015-2017
Early warning signs provide alarming indications of looming significant food supply shortages that are likely to impact on the next marketing season. The rains experienced in late March and early April provided some relief to livestock farmers, but arrived too late for both staple foods and cash crops. These adverse weather conditions are likely to reduce crop production in southern Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Malawi, Madagascar and South Africa. The negative impact of flooding will also affect food security in Malawi, Madagascar and Mozambique. (OCHA, 29 May 2015)
Nearly 29 million people are currently food insecure in southern Africa region mainly due to the carry-over effects of the past poor harvest season combined with other structural factors. Unless a two-track approach is quickly taken to address the current food insecurity and to establish measures to mitigate against the El Niño effects, the existing food insecurity will deepen and increase in scope with its effects will last till 2017. (Southern African Food and Nutrition Security Working Group, 17 Nov 2015)
The combination of a poor 2014/15 season and an extreme early dry spell during the 2015/16 rainy season to date (November to February) over southern and western Madagascar has resulted in an intense drought...It is now estimated that close to 1.14 million people are food insecure in seven districts of southern Madagascar (80% of the population). About 665 000 people are severely food insecure and in need of urgent emergency food security support until the end of the 2016/17 lean season...On 22 March, the government of Madagascar has declared a state of emergency for southern Madagascar. (ECHO, 30 Mar 2016)
Lesotho last had normal rainfall between April and May 2015... An estimated 15-30 percent of Lesotho’s population is in need of humanitarian assistance to help them cope with this acute drought situation. The Lesotho Vulnerability Assessment Committee (LVAC) report for 2015 indicates deterioration in the food security situation with the number of people in need going from 447,760 to 463,936 (an increase in prevalence from 26% to 33%). (IFRC, 06 Apr 2016)
In Malawi, the prolonged dry spells and floods not only affected maize production but other crops such as ground nuts have also been affected, and harvests are down by 21%. This left more than 2.8 million people in Malawi food insecure for a period of between three to 8 months. 25 out of the 28 Districts in Malawi were affected. Of the 2.8 million people affected 886,204 were living in the hard hit flood-affected districts and 1,947,008 were in districts affected by poor rainfall. An estimated 20% to 40% of Malawi’s population were at that time reported to be in need of humanitarian assistance to help them cope with the acute food shortage. On 12 April 2016, the President of Malawi declared a state of national disaster as a result of prolonged dry spells during 2015/2016 season. (IFRC, 18 Apr 2016)
Mozambique is facing severe drought in the Southern and Central region of the country affecting approximately 1.5 million people. The Government activated the institutional red alert in the most drought affected provinces such as, Tete, Sofala, Gaza, Inhambane and Maputo aiming to intensify and expand the response actions, disburse additional funds planned for emergency situations and mobilize additional resources through the cooperating partners. (OCHA, 04 May 2016)
Based on preliminary results, the ZimVAC has indicated that the prevalence of rural food insecurity in Zimbabwe will be higher than the 30 percent revealed by the January 2016 Rapid Assessment. The global acute malnutrition (GAM) prevalence is likely to increase beyond the 5.7 percent indicated in January. (WFP, 14 Jun 2016)
Between October 2014 and February 2015, Namibia experienced highly erratic rainfall patterns that negatively impacted the planting and cultivation seasons. The recent 2016 assessment done by the office of the Prime Minister and Ministry of Agriculture estimated that 729,134 people were food insecure and 595,839 need immediate assistance due to the drought situation. Prolonged dry spells and extensive flooding characterized the planting season and resulted in delayed planting and destroyed crops. As a result, the 2014/15 crop production yields were 46% below average which put parts of country at high risk of food insecurity. (IFRC, 03 Aug 2016.)
November marks the normal start of the lean season in most of the region, but most countries experienced an earlier than normal start to the lean season this year because of the impact of the El Niño-drought in late 2015 and early 2016. Poor households in the most affected parts of the region including areas in Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe continue facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity outcomes with increasing areas likely falling into Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes during the peak period (Jan-Mar 2017) in the absence of adequate humanitarian assistance. (FEWS NET, 23 Dec 2016)
Southern Africa now facing the peak of the El Niño-induced drought food security crisis, which is expected to last at least until the harvest in March/April 2017. Until then, WFP and its partners will maintain expanded operations, aiming to reach more than 13 million vulnerable people with relief, recovery, resilience and development activities ... WFP reached 9.9 million people in December 2016 and 10.6 million in January 2017. As of March 2017, $833 million has been raised for the humanitarian programmes in the RIASCO Action Plan, leaving a gap of $448,000. However, without additional funding, critical humanitarian needs will not be met. (OCHA, 6 Mar 2017)
In support of SADC’s appeal, RIASCO launched its Action Plan on 27 July, which was revised in December 2016. The Action Plan prioritized seven countries: Angola, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. The Action Plan was based on three pillars: a humanitarian pillar, setting out immediate needs in the seven priority countries; a resilience pillar undertaken in parallel to humanitarian efforts; and a macro-economic pillar, which sets out policy options for governments to address the long-term impacts. The plan requested $1.3 billion to provide humanitarian assistance (pillar 1) for 13.8 million people up to April 2017, of which $900 million has been received (70 per cent). (OCHA/RIASCO, 17 Jul 2017)
- [Report on the RIASCO Action Plan for the El Niño-induced drought in Southern Africa 2016/2017, 12 Jul 2017]
- SADC: Regional Humanitarian Appeal (Jun 2016)
- FAO Southern Africa El Niño Response Plan (2016/17)
- RIASCO Action Plan for Southern Africa: Response Plan for the El Niño-induced Drought in Southern Africa (May 2016-Apr 2017)
- UNICEF El Niño Eastern & Southern Africa Region Investment Case (23 Jun 2016)
In West Africa, market availability was adequate in May, with supplies from recent 2014/15 harvests and international rice and wheat imports. Staple food prices were stable or declining, except in areas directly and indirectly affected by the conflict in northeastern Nigeria. The recent opening of borders among Ebola-affected countries contributed to improved trade flows in some areas, following disruptions over the second half of 2014.
Food security likely to deteriorate in select, far southern districts
Rice and maize harvests put an end to the lean season in April/May, which will continue to result in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes for much of Madagascar through September 2015.
Food stocks from own production, food in exchange with labor, market purchases, and safety nets ensuring basic food and non-food access, maintaining Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity outcomes between June and July, while declining purchasing power will result in localized Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes between August to September.
The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) monitors trends in staple food prices in countries vulnerable to food insecurity. For each FEWS NET country and region, the Price Bulletin provides a set of charts showing monthly prices in the current marketing year in selected urban centers and allowing users to compare current trends with both five-year average prices, indicative of seasonal trends, and prices in the previous year.
Maize grain demand and retail prices atypically high in southern areas
Acute food insecurity is currently Minimal (IPC Phase 1) in most northern areas and expected to continue through September. However, in the south, where drought-affected households are currently Stressed (IPC Phase 2), the situation is expected to deteriorate to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) between July and September.
Enhancing development partnerships for inclusive growth and sustainable development
We are delighted to share with you Issue 5 of Nutrition Exchange. In keeping with our aim to have the majority of NEX content written by national actors engaged in nutrition specific and sensitive activities, this issue features nine original articles from Kenya, Niger, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Rwanda, Malawi and Namibia, as well as an article from an African nutrition network. this issue also includes summaries of nutrition related reviews, research, and news that we feel could be of interest to our readers. the original articles cover a range of programmatic experiences and policy issues.
Pretoria – Government has warned that crop yields are estimated to be low for this year, as compared to last year.
This is due to late rains in some summer rainfall areas during the 2014/15 summer season and the very dry conditions that were experienced during January and February 2015 which affected crop production in some parts of the country.
These conditions mostly affected rain-fed farmers, rather than those farming under irrigation.
Regional crop production, especially for cereal, is expected to decrease as a result of the uncharacteristic and erratic 2014/15 rainfall season. Significant maize production declines from the five-year average are forecasted for Zimbabwe (37 per cent), Namibia (39 per cent), South Africa (22 per cent) and Malawi (22 per cent). The results of national vulnerability assessments, which are expected around late-July, will provide a clearer picture of the scale of food insecurity.
The 2014-15 growing season drought in southern Botswana
The map presents the relative evapotranspiration (RE) as derived from Meteosat by EARS Earth Environment Monitoring Ltd in Delft, the Netherlands. RE represents crop water use and is proportional to crop yield. In the map red and black colors point to serious water shortages and related yield losses.
Extreme dryness and Foot-and-mouth disease limits pastoral movements in the south
Final estimates for high producing areas are beginning to reflect an average season for most of the country. However, production in Cunene Province is now expected to be worse than the drought-affected 2011-2012 season, and production in Huila Province is expected to be below average. In parts of Cunene, basic staple food supplies are scarce and poor households find it difficult to access these supplies in markets.
A. REGIONAL UPDATE
A. REGIONAL UPDATE
After the support they were receiving from WFP ended in November 2013, the farmers of Ha-Mohapi village defied the odds and worked to produce a flourishing fruit tree plantation. The proud farmers are today the envy of passers-by who stop to see how the trees have transformed a once barren area.
Farmers supported by WFP defy odds
By Tsitsi Matope
A three-acre plot of fruit trees is flourishing on a remote hillside of Ra-Mohapi Village in Mafeteng District, south of the capital, Maseru.
Grazing and livelihoods have rapidly deteriorated as the dry spell worsens in many parts of northern Namibia.
People and livestock in especially Ohangwena, Oshikoto and Kunene regions are seriously affected by the water crisis following erratic rainfall this year. Chairman of the Kunene Regional Council Dudu Murorua said Kunene only received 83 millimetres of rain – and as a result people and elephants graze and search for water in the same areas, which poses a threat to humans.