Madagascar + 5 more

Southern Africa Key Message Update: Despite the harvest, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes persist in parts of the region, May 2021

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Key Messages:

Crisis! (IPC Phase 3!) outcomes are widespread across much of southern Madagascar, with some households experiencing Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and worst-affected households in Ambovombe and Amboasary experiencing Catastrophe ((IPC Phase 5). Minimal seasonal improvement in food access is expected in southern Madagascar due to the expected limited harvest and associated income-earning opportunities. As a result, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes with some households in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) are expected to persist through at least September.

Conflict continues at relatively high levels in Cabo Delgado Mozambique and parts of the DRC. According to OCHA, as of April, over 732,000 people were displaced in Cabo Delgado. In Kasai, DRC, in March, about 41,000 were displaced due to conflict. Additionally, in North Kivu and Ituri provinces, recent conflict has resulted in the government’s declaration of martial law. Conflict in DRC and Mozambique has disrupted agricultural and most typical livelihood activities with minimal seasonal improvements expected with the harvest. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected in these areas through at least September.

As the harvest continues across most of the region, most households, including the poor, are consuming foods from their own production. Overall, households in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Lesotho, and most parts of Mozambique are anticipated to experience Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Minimal (IPC Phase 1) through at least September. In areas where Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes, while the harvest is expected to facilitate improved food access, household income will most likely remain below average.

In May, the volcano eruption of Nyiragongo in DRC led to the displacement of over 400,000 people. People have already started returning, with the IOM estimating about 160,000 people already returned. Humanitarian assistance is being provided to many affected displaced and non-displaced populations; however, some consumption deficits are likely to remain. In addition, the affected populations in Goma will likely experience some challenges recovering some of their typical livelihood activities when COVID-19 related restrictions already caused significant disruption to income-earning activities for poor households.

Household income in areas of the region where the harvest is favorable is expected to improve between June and August as households sell crops and earn income from off-farm labor and self-employment. Although, in some areas, access to income is expected to remain below-average due to the below-average harvest, partly caused by excessive rainfall in some areas, poor rainfall in other areas, and conflict. With the reported improvement of pasture and livestock conditions across the region, livestock sales will also contribute to household incomes; however, poor households are not likely to benefit much as most have sold their livestock in previous drought years to meet their food needs. In addition, key informants indicate that some very poor households have sold all non-essential animals over the past year.