Southern Africa Key Message Update, September 2017
Stable acute food insecurity outcomes continue in most parts of the region
Most households in the region continue to experience stable acute food insecurity due to the above-average harvest experienced in 2017. Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes are expected to continue through January 2018 in most surplus-producing areas in the region, while deficit production areas are expected to start experiencing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes starting in October. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is currently the only country in the region with areas currently in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), mainly due to conflict. In some parts of Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe, poor households will be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in January 2018, which coincides with the peak lean season period.
Many poor households across the region are consuming own-produced crops and supplementing these foods with market purchases. In most countries, stable maize grain prices have helped to improve access. Households can meet their livelihood protection needs by earning incomes from gardening, as well as other off-season activities like brick-molding and grass sales. Winter cropping is another key activity that is helping to boost incomes for poor households.
Maize grain prices continue to be below average in most surplus-producing areas in the region, especially in Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Mozambique. For both Malawi and Mozambique, prices were 10 and 9 percent below the five-year average, respectively. This trend is typical and is generally caused by decline in demand for market purchases as most households continue to consume their own-produced crops. Field reports in Zimbabwe indicate that market demand for maize is starting to gradually increase as own-produced stocks for some households become limited. This will likely result in price increases from September onward. Additionally, monitored markets in southern Madagascar show increases in maize grain prices because of poor production this past season.