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)
Thirty years ago, families in Mozambique’s village of Nhantumbi could rely on regular rainfall to cultivate their crops and feed their families. Since then, unpredictable rains, deforestation and unsustainable agricultural practices have caused a steep decline in productivity in Nhantumbi and neighboring villages.
The 2015/2016 El Niño exacerbated the situation, bringing the worst drought the area had seen in three decades. Facing total crop failure, households were forced to look elsewhere for food. Many migrated closer to the Zambian border to find work.
Rome / New York, 19 September 2017 – African farmers from a remote village in northern Zambia have teamed up with the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to send a giant message to world leaders gathering in New York this week – invest more in agriculture if you want to end poverty and hunger by 2030.
Women’s leadership can strengthen resilience to climate change
By Everjoice Win, International director of programmes and global engagement at Action Aid International
Last year, the planet suffered the terrible impacts of one of the worst drought and hunger crises seen for decades. At the end of 2015, 30 percent of the global land area was in drought conditions, one of the highest figures since modern record keeping began.
Read more on IRIN.
Improved maize supplies drove national maize and maize meal prices further down in July in all the monitored countries except South Africa (SA) where prices increased by roughly 6 percent. Moreover, national prices were considerably below their respective 5 year aver-age (5YA) except Tanzania, Lesotho and Swaziland.
A summary of the learnings and recommendations from an internal and external evaluation of the Emergency Cash-First Response to Drought-Affected Communities in the Southern Provinces of Zimbabwe project which was carried out from August 2015 to May 2017.This programme is the first time that cash transfers have been used as a large-scale alternative to food aid in Zimbabwe and the first large-scale provision of cash transfers through mobile money.
This case study of the first large-scale humanitarian cash programme in Zimbabwe presents learning and recommendations on how to design and adapt cash transfer programmes to mitigate the risk of a cash liquidity crisis.
The study explores how the programme, which delivered cash through mobile money, coped with a national cash liquidity crisis. Mobile money proved to be a highly flexible way to deliver cash during a liquidity crisis, given its option for e-purchasing, which enabled continued access to food.
This case study explores the partnership between CARE International and World Vision with two mobile network operators to deliver the first humanitarian cash transfer programme to be carried out on a large scale in Zimbabwe.
The study investigates:
Three United Nations (UN) agencies in Malawi – the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) – United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and World Food Programme (WFP) – teamed up to expose smallholder farmers to potential markets and link them with other agriculture market value-chain players at the 14th National Agriculture Fair held in August in Blantyre.
Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia are collaborating to improve the productivity of staple food crops, such as maize, rice, and legumes.
Local farmers are testing new conservation farming technologies, with information on them is shared across the three countries.
Patricia Dzimbiri is a farmer in Malawi who has successfully piloted the sustainable farming methods and shared what she has learned with more than 80 other farmers.
The 2017 ZimVAC Rural Livelihoods Assessment estimates that 1.1 million people will be food insecure by the first quarter of 2018. All indicators of nutrition and food security have improved in the midst of a 321 percent increase in food crop production compared to last year, although some districts will have high food insecurity projections estimated at 27 percent.
In July, WFP supported 89,585 people in 11 districts under the Productive Asset Creation Programme.
In July, WFP assisted in total 7,800 beneficiaries through the Food by Prescription programme.
Assistance to Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVC) will resume in August 2017.
WFP’s Food by Prescription project remains underfunded, with a pipeline break expected in September 2017.
In May, the El Niño-induced drought emergency response was completed. WFP assisted over 230,000 beneficiaries with emergency assistance, of which 142,000 received Cash Based Transfers (CBT).
Namibia UN Country Team celebrated Nelson Mandela Day. As of the activities, WFP Namibia visited Otjomuise Primary School in the informal settlement of Windhoek and handed over food items to children in pre-primary.
A delegation from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) visited Food Assistance for Assets (FFA) sites in Mangochi and Zomba districts to observe a comprehensive training session on Integrated Watershed Management approaches.
USAID/PEPFAR funded distributions continued in the districts of Leribe, Berea, Maseru, Mafeteng and Mohale’s Hoek covering a total of 36,500 people in July.
The Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) currently faces a significant funding shortfall with recovery activities planned to continue until December 2017.
Change in government and the appointment of new Principal Secretaries is likely to impact the implementation of WFP activities.
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.
MAPUTO –The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has launched its five-year Country Strategic Plan (CSP) for Mozambique. The plan is designed to ensure that people have more reliable and nutritious food to eat, and to make them more resilient to the climate shocks to which Mozambique is increasingly prone.
Social and Economic Policy Unit, UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti
Unconditional cash transfers are on the rise in Sub-Saharan Africa, with recent estimates indicating a doubling of programmes between 2010 and 2014.1 This brief provides an overview of the comprehensive impacts across eight domains of two unconditional cash transfer programmes implemented by the Zambian Government: The Child Grant Programme (CGP) and the Multiple Category Targeting Programme (MCP).
With worsening droughts drying fields and hydropower, solar energy is providing a way forward in rural areas.
By Tonderayi Mukeredzi
MASHABA, Zimbabwe, Sept 11 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Until recently, farmers in this town in southern Zimbabwe struggled to water their crops, frustrated by poor rainfall and the regular breakdown of the diesel engines that powered their irrigation systems.