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)
Snapshot 9 – 15 March
Yemen: Insecurity in Aden is increasing, with attacks carried out on civilian targets. At least 150 people have been reported killed in the past three months, including at least 50 in March. Humanitarian actors have increasing difficulty to carry out operations. In Taizz, the west of the city has been taken by pro-Hadi forces after heavy fighting: fighting for the east continues.
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
- Below-average rains expected to result in reduced 2016 maize crop, with larger production declines forecast in southern districts
- National average maize price at record high level in February 2016, reflecting tighter market supplies and poor 2016 production prospects
- Food security situation in 2016/17 expected to worsen due to high food prices and expected lower cereal output
Reduced seasonal rains expected to result in production decrease for 2016 crops
Pretoria – Smallholder farmers affected by the drought in Tshwane, have received a helping hand from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to sustain their farms.
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Deputy Minister Bheki Cele visited Hammanskraal, Stinkwater and Winterveldt on Monday to hand over a borehole, animal feed and garden equipment to help residents start up community gardens.
Deputy Minister Cele’s visit is part of an ongoing stakeholder engagement forum and follow up visit to areas affected by the drought.
An El Niño-induced drought has contributed to a projected 64 per cent year-on-year decrease in maize production (the staple food).
An estimated 300,000 people require food assistance – a quarter of the total population.
Water scarcity is affecting all aspects of society, including education (an estimated 189,000 learners) and health facilities (particularly maternity services).
Armed clashes between the Mozambican army and opposition party Renamo have prompted over 11,000 people to flee to Kapise, Mwanza district, Malawi, since mid December. Conditions in the camp are harsh: it is overcrowded, there is very limited sanitation infrastructure, and no educational facilities. Major needs include access to water and sanitation, and shelter construction. The camp is located in a hard-to-reach area, and rains have severely damaged the only accessible road.
Recent increases in rainfall unable to overcome long-term seasonal deficits in southern Africa
Africa Weather Hazards
Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Wed, 9 Mar 2016 11:21 GMT
By Jeffrey Gogo
HARARE, March 9 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Lovemore Kuwana cheerily lifts the lid of a container full of fresh maggots in his backyard, which he will feed to the poultry he keeps once the worms are dried.
Read the story on the Thomson Reuters Foundation
Barbara van Koppen, Guillaume Lacombe and Emmanuel Mwendera
•Over 534,000 people are at risk of food insecurity up to June 2016 (one in every four people in Lesotho) – the number is likely to go up beyond 725,000 people after June 2016.
•Over 377,000 people require immediate food or cash assistance to enable them to access food from the market as well as livelihood support to resuscitate own food production (revised figures will be available after June 2016 once crop forecast is available).
The 2015-2016 El Niño has passed its peak but it remains strong and will continue to influence the global climate. It is expected to weaken in the coming months and fade away during the second quarter of 2016. The World Meteorological Organization states that models indicate a return to an El Niño neutral state during the second quarter of 2016. Meanwhile, strong El Niño conditions are quite likely through March-April. It is too early to predict if there will then be a swing to La Niña (the opposite of El Niño).
Below average precipitation and drought have raged since last year on the SADC region, the outlook for the remaining months of the current season indicated below average precipitation very likely over most of the eastern part of the region including Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, easternmost of Botswana, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland and the center of Madagascar. The drought situation and related consequences will persist during the coming months.
Global crop prospects benign, but hunger intensifies in areas suffering from conflict
Food security worsens further in Southern Africa due to drought
9 March 2016, Rome - Thirty-four countries, including 27 in Africa, are currently in need of external assistance for food due to drought, flooding and civil conflicts, according to a new edition of FAO's Crop Prospects and Food Situation report released today.
In February 2016, WFP continued to target 2.4 million out of the total affected population of 2.86 million people with life-saving food assistance.* With over 32,000 additional people now facing food insecurity as well, the Humanitarian Response Committee has agreed to cover this additional population from March, and meanwhile to continue assistance to all 2.86 million people through April 2016 to account for the El Niño-induced extended lean season.
An El Niño-related drought is ongoing in the South and West, with certain areas facing one of the driest rainy seasons in 35 years. Although sufficient rainfall in central and northern parts of country will contribute to near-average harvests in those areas, staple food production at a national-level will likely be below-average due to significant declines in production in drought-affected areas.
Snapshot 2–8 March 2016
Malawi and Mozambique: Flooding and drought have led to the most severe food crisis Malawi has faced in a decade: 2.8 million people face acute food insecurity, including 900,000 facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security outcomes. In Mozambique, an estimated 600,000 people are in Crisis due to drought. In addition, 9,300 Mozambicans in Malawi who fled armed conflict need WASH, health and shelter assistance.
Cape Town – Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti says government’s response to the drought now exceeds R1 billion.
The Minister on Tuesday chaired the Economic Sectors, Employment and Infrastructure Development Cluster media briefing at the Imbizo Centre, in Cape Town. The briefing was aimed at providing a progress report on the implementation of the Nine Point Plan following President Zuma’s State of the Nation Address last month.