Southern Africa: Drought - Nov 2018Alert
The number of severely food insecure people in Southern Africa rose to an estimated 9.6 million at the start of the lean season (October 2018 to April 2019), due to an increase of 1.1 million people in Malawi. Malawi, which now has an estimated 3.3 million people in Crisis or Emergency (IPC phase 3 and 4), and Zimbabwe, where nearly 2.4 million people are in Crisis or Emergency, have the highest numbers of severely food insecure people in the region. Meanwhile, three districts in Zimbabwe and two districts in Madagascar were classified in Emergency (IPC phase 4) at the outset of the lean season, as a result of extreme loss of livelihood assets. There are also pockets of people facing Emergency food insecurity (IPC phase 4) in Eswatini, Lesotho and Mozambique. (OCHA, 26 Nov 2018)
Since the start of the 2018/19 cropping season in October, anomalous dry conditions have developed across parts of Southern Africa, with more intense moisture deficits registered in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa, in addition to the western parts of Madagascar. Although there are a few months remaining in the cropping season, with the main harvest period usually commencing in April, the impact of the reduced rains is expected to have caused a contraction in the area planted and lowered yield prospects, particularly in the aforementioned areas. Heavier rainfall since mid‑December provided some respite and helped to alleviate moisture deficits, but concurrently resulted in localized flooding in parts of Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. (GIEWS, 22 Jan 2019)
Approximately 10.8 million people were facing severe food insecurity in Southern Africa as 2018 came to an end. In Eswatini, the estimated number of people facing Crisis (IPC phase 3) or worse food insecurity more than doubled from 120,000 in October to nearly 250,000 in December. In Zimbabwe, where 2.4 million people in rural areas were severely food insecure, the deteriorating economic situation caused sharp price increases and hampered access to food and agricultural inputs. Shortages of basic food commodities in formal markets, including cooking oil, sugar and bread, were reported, especially in remote areas. In Mozambique, more than 1.78 million people were in IPC phase 3 or above across the country, of whom 814,000 people in five provinces were prioritized for urgent humanitarian assistance. Further attacks by non-state armed actors were reported in Cabo Delgado province in November, increasing food security and malnutrition concerns. Meanwhile, in Madagascar, a Flash Appeal was launched to galvanize funding for rapid response in the Grand Sud region, where 890,000 people are severely food insecure. (OCHA, 22 Jan 2019)
FEWS NET anticipates the next lean season will most likely start atypically early in August/September in several areas of the region, and households will have limited purchasing power due to lower incomes. Additionally, household access to milk will be lower than normal driven by poor livestock body conditions. Consequently, atypically high levels of acute food insecurity are likely during the 2019/20 lean season in most countries across the region, except in Madagascar, Malawi, and northern Mozambique. Atypically high needs will also be driven by conflict in DRC and poor macroeconomic conditions in Zimbabwe. Although outcomes are not expected to be as severe as those following the 2015/16 drought, humanitarian partners should prepare for a likely earlier than normal start to the 2019/20 lean season and higher than normal food assistance needs during this time. (FEWS NET, 1 Feb 2019)
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Drought strengthens in parts of Angola and Namibia
Significantly below average rainfall since October has caused significant dryness in southern Africa. Dry spells continue in Namibia and Angola.
Below-average rainfall since November has caused drought in South Africa, though there has been recent moisture improvement.
Malawi is a landlocked, low-income country. Eighty percent of the population consists of smallholder farmers and nearly 70 percent of people live below the international poverty line. In recent years, climate-related shocks and an outbreak of fall armyworm—an invasive crop pest—have reduced food production.
WINDHOEK - Due to the severe drought in Namibia, Kaap Agri Namibia and Pupkewitz Megabuild have embarked upon a solidarity initiative, #togetherwearestrong, to help the most needy farmers with animal feed. On Valentine’s Day, Kaap Agri Namibia, Pupkewitz Megabuild and partners, started ferrying the first consignment when the first 11 of 20 trucks full of animal feed departed from the Hardap Dam.
WINDHOEK - The first half of the 2018/2019 rainfall season saw an extremely poor rainfall which subsequently caused considerable delay in cultivation activities, notes the December 2018 Agricultural Inputs and Household Food Security Situation report of the National Early Warning and Information System of Namibia.
SITUATION IN NUMBERS
400,000 Total People in Need
190,400 Total Children in Need
155,924 Total population in drought/flood affected areas
70,000 Children in drought/flood affected areas
8,500 Estimated number of children 6-59 months affected by severe and moderate acute malnutrition
6% Prevalence of wasting among children underfive
UNICEF Appeal 2018 US$ 1.66 million
- A late and erratic onset of rains delayed planting and reduced area planted in southern and western parts of the region.
- A dry spell from mid-January to early February caused moderate to severe crop moisture stress in the central parts of the region. The dry spell ended in early February, allowing recovery of some crops. Observations however indicate that permanent wilting had occurred in several areas.
This report provides a summary of changes to regional maize availability estimates and markets in countries monitored by FEWS NET and WFP in southern Africa. It updates FEWS NET’s Regional Maize Supply and Market Outlook Report published in August 2018. It also draws insights on staple food trade from the FEWS NET/WFP Informal Cross Border Monitoring System.
1,202 MT of food assistance distributed
US$ 416,708 in cash-based transfers
US$ 9 million net funding requirements for six months (January – June 2019) representing 33% of total needs
152,509 people assisted in January 2018
Heavy rainfall continues in southeast Africa while drought strengthens in parts of Angola and Namibia
Africa Weather Hazards
Significantly below average rainfall since October has resulted in extended dry spells in southern Africa. Improved seasonal rainfall in February has brought relief to many areas in South Africa.
Heavy rainfall is forecast over Madagascar next week with the potential for flooding.
The 150 percent fuel price hike that sparked mass public unrest across Zimbabwe last month sent the cost of living skyrocketing: the price of bread nearly doubled in a week.
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The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) has reached out to 556,684 food insecure households (approximately 3,061, 762 people) with 47,053 metric tons (about 941, 060 bags weighing 50kg each) of relief maize, in 21 districts of the country, as of February 12, 2019.
Heavy January rainfall decreased moisture deficits, though cropping conditions unlikely to recover
Malawi is among the most climate-fragile countries in the world, ranking 105 out of 113 countries based on the 2016 Global Food Security Index. Agriculture remains the country’s mainstay, largely supporting most of its rural population with the sector contributing to about one third of its GDP. Since 2015, back-to-back El Niño/La Niña episodes affected the food security of more than 8 million people.
2,399 mt of food assistance distributed
US$4.5m cash-based transfers made
2,000 mt of sorghum locally procured
US$31.5m six months (Mar–Aug 2019) net funding requirements, representing 67% of total
7.5m people in rural and urban areas food insecure (ZimVAC analysis January 2019) 706,247 people assisted in January 2019
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Crop production prospects in 2019 favourable in main cereal-producing provinces of centre
In southern provinces, however, below-average rainfall diminished production outlook
Food prices continued to rise, reflecting lower harvest in 2018 and weaker national currency
Food security situation worsened in southern provinces due to persisting dry weather conditions
Reduced rainfall diminishes 2019 production prospects in southern provinces
MAPUTO - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes a recent contribution of ₤ 7.5 million donation by the United Kingdom to support some of Mozambique’s most malnourished and acutely food insecure people.
WINDHOEK - Cabinet has directed the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry to advise farmers in areas with poor grazing to take precautionary measures, as drought looms due to erratic rainfall.
These measures include destocking and culling of animals while the livestock is in good shape. Most farmers in regions such as Kunene and Omaheke have already started losing their livestock due to drought effects being felt in some parts of the country.