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)
By Idriss Jazairy, Executive Director of the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue
Act for Peace is working to enable farmers in drought-prone areas in Zimbabwe to adopt techniques to achieve food security. Their project works to ensure hard-working farming families receive the seeds, training and tools they need to always have enough to eat.
Numerous countries in Africa are facing conflict, drought, food shortages and widespread displacement. The UN estimates millions of people are on the verge of starvation in Southern and Eastern Africa.
In September 2017, Australia provided $20 million to support international relief efforts in Somalia and South Sudan. This is in addition to the $19.3 million of humanitarian assistance provided to South Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Nigeria and Kenya in May 2017.
This brief summarizes FEWS NET’s most forward-looking analysis of projected emergency food assistance needs in FEWS NET coverage countries. The projected size of each country’s acutely food insecure population (IPC Phase 3 and higher) is compared to last year and the recent five-year average and categorized as Higher (p), Similar (u), or Lower (q). Countries where external emergency food assistance needs are anticipated are identified. Projected lean season months highlighted in red indicate either an early start or an extension to the typical lean season.
As of September, UNICEF and partners reached 64,178 people with safe water on a daily basis in Lubombo and Shiselweni, representing 99 per cent of UNICEF’s 2017 Emergency Response Plan Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) target.
By Gina Althoff
Edna Ndalama is a dedicated and energetic smallholder farmer in Malawi’s Machinga district, where she grows and processes maize (corn) into nsima, the country’s staple carbohydrate.
Over the past decade, however, Ndalama has watched her farm’s production decline. In years with good rainfall, the 42-year-old mother of three produces enough maize to last her family only eight to nine months. In drought years, maize production sometimes lasts less than five months—a scary prospect for a family with growing children.
10 October 2017, Harare – the Office of the President and Cabinet, and the UN Resident Coordinator convened the first multi-stakeholders meeting of Zimbabwe Development Cooperation Forum bringing together some 150 senior officials from Government, United Nations, Ambassadors and Diplomats accredited to Zimbabwe, Non-Government and Civil Society Organizations today in the capital, Harare.
1 Executive summary
This is the evaluation report for Southern African Food Insecurity Project implemented by National Societies of Malawi, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Mozambique. The project was funded by IFRC and various Partner National Societies in the four countries.
UNICEF and partners have screened 233,950 children for acute malnutrition and provided lifesaving treatment for severe acute malnutrition (SAM) to 7,822 children aged 0-59 months since January 2017.
UNICEF has provided 219,859 children aged 6-59 months with Vitamin A Supplementation (VAS) since the beginning of 2017, including 53, 290 children since July 2017.
In the six northern regions, UNICEF-supported Community Health Workers (CHWs) have reached more than 4,800 children under five with nutrition screening, of which 112 were referred and treated for Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM). Parents of these children also received key messages on sanitation and hygiene.
**Antananarivo - Le Programme alimentaire mondial des Nations Unies (PAM) se félicite d’avoir reçu un financement de cinq millions d’euros de la part du Gouvernement allemand. Il permettra de secourir 240 000 personnes touchées par la faim dans le sud de Madagascar. **
Mozambican meteorological services (INAM) forecast moderate to high risk of flooding between January-March 2018, particularly in parts of south, central and northern provinces of Mozambique. In response, UNICEF will be implementing a number of actions to strengthen CO preparedness, including working with Government to develop the National Contingency Plan in the weeks ahead.
Zakaria Pulumo’s house overlooks scenic valleys and horizons, in Ha Lebele Village. And, even with the vegetation suffering the consequences of drought, the landscape of this part of Mafeteng district remains attractive. But 54-year-old Pulumo has more pressing necessities than the picturesque scenery.
Hygiene has been one of the community’s major challenges: due to lack of proper toilets, many local residents have had to resort to open defecation. They have also struggled to gain access to clean water, and to keep waterborne diseases at bay.
Over the past few decades Zambia has experienced climatic hazards such as droughts, seasonal and flash floods, extreme temperatures and very dry spells. Of course different parts of the country have been affected differently but the impact on communities has been immense both economically and otherwise.
By Bellah Zulu
05 October 2017, Harare – the United Nations Team in Zimbabwe concluded a three-day field visit (2-5 October 2017) to UN-supported humanitarian, community asset and resilience building projects in Masvingo, Mwenezi and Chivi Districts in Masvingo Province.
The UN Team delegation, led by the United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Mr. Bishow Parajuli, included: UNICEF Representative, Dr. Mohamed Ayoya; IOM Chief of Mission, Ms. Lily Sanya; UNDP Country Director, Mr. Georges Van Monfort, and WFP Deputy Country Director, Mr. Niels Balzer.