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)
Assessments showed that the population facing food shortage is 214,170, while population below livelihood protection threshold was estimated at 798,384.
Creation of employment opportunities in the rural areas.
Vocational training for agriculture and other related fields
Creation of more Green schemes to increase food production
Extension of Rural electrification
Extension of Rural Water Supply services
Estimate the change in the situation of acute malnutrition in children from 6-59 months and of pregnant and lactating women and nutritional status of women from (15-49 years) at the end of the food shortage period in the districts Identified with great vulnerability to malnutrition and food insecurity.
Increase the number of analysis by districts;
Have one training for nutrition and food security experts in the same room
The country generally received normal to above normal rainfall and this resulted in high production for most crops. Flooding was largely experienced in northern districts (Lilongwe, Mwanza and Zomba).
Late onset of rains; Northern Malawi (the rest of the country received early planting rains. Amounts and distribution were very good).
Dry spells were experienced in pockets of Centre and Southern Malawi.
Floods heavily experienced in some parts of Northern Malawi.
Northern Madagascar experienced an extremely dry season, particularly from Oct 2016 to Feb 2017. In March 2017 Cyclone Enawo hit north-eastern Madagascar, causing flooding and destroying crops. The World Bank estimated the agricultural loss at 207 million USD, including 164 million USD of Vanilla.
The price of imported rice increased by 25% and local rice by up to 47%.
Normal to above normal rainfall was received across the country in August to December 2016. Water levels of rivers, springs and reservoirs improved significantly, but remained lower than normal.
Heavy rains caused flooding in some areas, which was exacerbated by Cyclone Dineo in February 2017. This led to an increase in diseases such as diarrhea and malaria in some areas.
Higher rainfall compared to the previous season resulted in improved crop and livestock production, thereby significantly reducing households’ vulnerability to food insecurity.
Angola experienced average rainfall during the 2016/17 rainy season except in Cunene Province. Cunene province experienced poor crop production and Cuando Cubango experienced the prevalence of livestock diseases particularly foot-and-mouth, which also resulted in death of cattle.
The Lesotho Vulnerability Assessment Committee (LVAC) was established in 2002. It is a government led multidisciplinary committee within the Office of the Prime Minister- Disaster Management Authority (DMA). Its membership consists of Government Ministries and Departments, United Nations Organizations, NonGovernmental organizations and the Private Sector. It is mandated to carry out livelihood vulnerability analysis and its aim is to provide timely analysis for emergency interventions as well as medium to long-term programming.
WFP successfully migrated the SCOPE Platform (a digital beneficiary registration and management platform) to support the people residing at Tongogara Refugee Camp, culminating in 2,700 refugees redeeming their assistance using the SCOPE card.
2017 Productive Assets Creation cycle (PAC) registered an increase in the number of assets being created and rehabilitated from 55 in 2016 to 119 in 2017, as WFP gears up its resilience activities.
August marked three months since the first Maano transaction. In three months, the Maano app has helped smallholder farmers in 28 rural communities sell 120.65 metric tons of their produce, worth 377,000 kwachas.
As a result of supplementary funding from the Government of Zambia WFP will be able to scale Up the Home-Grown School Meals from the current 1, 060, 770 children to about 1,500,000 children by 2018. This will result in about 15 additional districts being included on the HGSM programme.
WFP in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture (MoEAC) and the Global Child Nutrition Foundation (GCNF) undertook Regional and National Consultations to explore the possibility of private sector support to the school feeding programme through a formalised partnership strategy.
Food insecurity outcomes to worsen for households in cereal deficit parts of the region in the coming months
by Andrew Mambondiyani | Thomson Reuters Foundation
NYANYADZI, Zimbabwe, Oct 17 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - In this drought-prone region of eastern Zimbabwe, relying on rain to grow crops no longer makes sense.
That's one reason Joseph Zviuya, a small-scale farmer in the Nyanyadzi area, looks with satisfaction at the canal near his fields that is now overflowing with irrigation water.
"This water is our lifeline; without this irrigation scheme we are hopeless," the farmer in Zimbabwe's Chimanimani district told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
We can combat global hunger and malnutrition, but it takes a holistic approach to ensure long-lasting impact
World hunger is on the rise. Today, nearly one in 10 people around the world suffer from hunger.
The solution to combatting hunger seems simple — get food to people in need when they need it. And while we have answered the call time and time again in response to crises and humanitarian need, supporting food security requires much more than filling people’s bellies.
Vulnerable populations in six Southern African countries will likely require humanitarian assistance through mid-2018
FAW infestations reported in at least eight Southern Africa countries
USAID/FFP provides nearly $47 million in additional funding to improve food security throughout the region
With support from the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), UNICEF provided safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene messages to 15,897 drought-affected people in 5 districts, from January to September 2017. Since the start of the DFID-funded programme in July 2016 and up to September 2017, a total of 131,267 people (51% female) gained access to WASH services in 33 communities, 25 primary schools and 4 health centres in 5 districts (Berea, Mafeteng, Thaba Tseka, Quthing and Botha Bothe).
The 2015–2016 El Niño phenomenon resulted in the worst drought in 35 years for much of southern Africa.
In the eight most-affected countries (Angola, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia,
Swaziland and Zimbabwe), an estimated 16.1 million people required assistance between December 2016 and March 2017, including some 5 million children who required urgent humanitarian assistance.