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)
Joint statement by FAO, EC-JRC, FEWS NET and WFP
FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; FEWS NET - Famine Early Warning Systems Network; JRC - European Commission's Joint Research Centre;WFP - World Food Programme
12 February 2016, Rome - Southern Africa is currently in the grip of an intense drought that has expanded and strengthened since the earliest stages of the 2015-2016 agricultural season, driven by one of the strongest El Niño events of the last 50 years.
1.1 In accordance with Subsection (1) of Section 27 of the Civil Protection Act of 1989, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe His Excellency Cde R.G. Mugabe, on 4 February 2016declared a State of Drought Disaster following the impact of El Nino induced erratic rainfall. The influence of climate change cannot be ruled out. The amount of rainfall received to date is inadequate to meet basic household consumption needs as well as support for livelihoods, agriculture and wildlife.
Africa Weather Hazards
Syria: The military offensive in Aleppo governorate has displaced more than 40,000 people since late January, and the number of displaced is reported to be increasing. There is concern that a siege of opposition-held areas of Aleppo city is imminent. An estimated 20,000 newly displaced Syrians are stuck at the Bab al Salam crossing along the Syria–Turkey border, as Turkey has denied them entry into Turkish territory.
9 February 2016, JOHANNESBURG – Zimbabwe has become the third country in Southern Africa to declare a disaster after Lesotho and Malawi amidst a prolonged drought that has resulted in food shortages. The United Nations estimates that 30 million people in the region are in dire need of food assistance. World Vision is calling on donor countries to increase the amount of food assistance available as the number of affected people is likely to increase.
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Unfavourable production outlook for 2016 cereal crop, reflecting persistent dry conditions
Cereal prices increased on account of higher import costs and below-average 2015 harvest
Reduced cereal production in 2015 and poor livestock conditions resulted in increase in number of people in need of food assistance in 2015/16
Crop conditions in 2016 mostly unfavourable reflecting insufficient rains
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has been monitoring forecasts for the current El Niño since early 2015. It is using early warning information to design and implement early actions knowing that anticipatory action can mitigate or even prevent disasters from happening.
What is El Niño?
El Niño is the warming of sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific. While the main threats to food production are reduced rainfall and drought in some regions, El Niño can also cause heavy rains and flooding in others.
WASHINGTON DC—The World Food Program (WFP) is preparing to scale up food distribution in Zimbabwe following a declaration of a state of disaster by President Robert Mugabe last week.
The number of people needing food assistance is now being estimated at 2,4 million, as opposed to the 1,5 million estimated earlier.
Indications are that up to 3 million people may need of food aid in the country with a huge grain deficit.
Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Mon, 8 Feb 2016 13:40 GMT
Author: Andrew Mambondiyani
MUTARE, Zimbabwe, Feb 8 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Shylet Mutsago, a 63-year-old who lives near the diamond fields of Marange, cannot hide her anger over how mining in this gem-rich part of eastern Zimbabwe has failed to improve the lives of local people.
Read the full article on the Thomson Reuters Foundation
This Emergency Appeal was launched on 22 January 2016 for CHF 664,073 Swiss francs to enable the IFRC to support the Lesotho Red Cross Society (LRCS) to respond to the food security needs of 4,500 drought affected beneficiaries for six months. The strategy entails the immediate provision of food assistance (carried out through cash transfer programming) and strengthening community livelihoods in three districts of Mafeteng, Thaba Tseka and Qacha’s Nek to allow vulnerable households to meet their basic food needs.
Geneva, 08 February 2016
1. Brief description of the emergency and impact
Zimbabwe experienced a poor 2014/15 agricultural season characterized by dry spells in most parts of the country particularly in Masvingo and Matabeleland North and South Provinces. This has led to losses in agricultural production of an over 60% drop in cereal production as reported by the Ministry of Agriculture Mechanization and Irrigation Development (MAMID). There is also loss of household incomes due to reduced labor opportunities in the agricultural sector.
DUBAI, Feb 7 (Reuters) - South Africa will not declare a national disaster in response to a drought that has hurt agricultural production, the country's deputy minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries Bheki Cele told Reuters on Sunday
2.8 million Malawians face hunger, prompting relief effort
Focus on basic food security has hampered wider development
Subsidy for small-scale farmers at risk as aid taps run dry
Malawi highlights perils of aid reliance without industrialising
By Ed Stoddard and Mabvuto Banda
LILONGWE, Feb 7 (Reuters) - As she walks along a dirt road in central Malawi, Louise Abale carries her precious maize wrapped in a brightly coloured cloth and balanced on her head.
45 people have died in the storms and floods which have hit parts of northern Mozambique since the start of the current rainy season in October.
Speaking at a Maputo press conference on 5 February, the director of the National Operational Emergency Centre (CENOE), Mauricio Xerinda, said that the deaths were caused by high winds, lightning strikes, and floods resulting from torrential rains.
Since October, the number of people affected by flooding is around 26,000. Over this period, 1,202 houses have been destroyed and a further 3,941 have been damaged.
Luanda - Two water distribution centres in Luanda Province, namely in the localities of Marçal and Cazenga, which have been receiving repair works, are scheduled to start functioning this year, guaranteed last Thursday the secretary of State for Water, Luís Filipe da Silva.
Speaking to the press, in the end of the inauguration ceremony of the water distribution centre of Maianga ward, in Luanda City, Luís Filipe da Silva informed that the Marçal and Cazenga water distribution centres are being expanded and some equipment are being replaced.
Caxito - The implementation of the Water for All projects in the country has reached 63 percent
This was said Thursday in Caxito, northern Bengo province, by the minister of Energy and Water, João Baptista Borges.
João Baptista Borges said the Water for All that is directly run by the head of State is being taken to all rural areas, to cater for 80 percent of the population, that is, about six million people.
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has declared a state of disaster in rural parts of the country hit by a drought.
An estimated 2.4 million people are now in need of food aid, more than a quarter of the population.
Read the story on the BBC
The Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee December 2015 report identifies additional 32,390 food insecure people in Blantyre, Mangochi, Dedza and Mzimba districts and recommends humanitarian assistance extension to from March to April 2016, funds permitting.
Africa Weather Hazards