Southern Africa Weekly Update (28 February - 6 March 2017)
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. Funding from international development partners and national governments has saved lives, protected livelihoods and helped reduce human suffering. 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.
On 2 March 2017, Zimbabwe appealed for assistance after declaring floods a national disaster. Almost 250 people have been killed and about 2,000 people have been left homeless, with around 900 people displaced to a camp in Tsholostho in Matebeleland North. Much of the heavy rains received over the past month can be attributed to Tropical Cyclone DINEO, which crossed southern and western Zimbabwe as a powerful storm system in mid-February. A Special Cabinet Committee has raised $14.5 million of the $100 million required to repair extensive infrastructure damage, including to roads, bridges, schools and clinics. Rains are expected to continue until April.
Intense Tropical Cyclone ENAWO is expected to make landfall over north-east Madagascar on Tuesday (07 March). It is expected that the the cyclone will hit around Cap Masoala (between Antalaha and Foulpointe) on the north-east coast with sustained wind speeds of between 165 km/h and 200 km/h. ENAWO will subsequently move southwards across the highlands, including Antananarivo, as a storm system. Eight regions are at risk of floods: Analanjirofo, Atsinanana, Sofia, Alaotra Mangoro, Analamanga, Menabe, Vatovavy Fitovinany and Atsimo Andrefana. According to GDACS, up to 1.1 million people can be affected by wind speeds of cyclone strength or above. ENAWO appears similar to Cyclone IVAN, which in 2008 affected 525,000 people, including displacing 195,000 people displaced. Existing capacities are expected to be exceeded. With logistics expected to be challenging, the Logistics Cluster is already developing response (and emergency resource mobilization) plans. Other sectors are also preparing.
Madagascar received $3.8 million through the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) Underfunded Emergencies Window to the food insecurity situation. The funds will sustain life-saving relief in emergencies where humanitarian suffering is alarmingly high, but available resources are critically low.
About 4,200 Mozambican refugees have been registered in bordering Zimbabwe (744) and Malawi (3,455), as of end January 2017. This follows increased violence between Government forces and those of the opposition RENAMO in 2016. On 4 March, parties extended a cease fire to 4 May to allow for continued peace talks. About 551,000 Mozambicans are affected by the impacts of Tropical Storm DINEO which hit the south of the country in mid-February. On 2 March, the Humanitarian Country Team launched a $10.2 million Flash Appeal to support the Government-led response.