An estimated 8.5 million people were severely food insecure (IPC phase 3 and above) in Southern Africa at the end of August and this is expected to rise to 9.6 million by October 2018. This includes more than 400,400 people facing Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food insecurity in Madagascar (Beloha and Ampanihy Districts). In addition, the Kariba, Binga and Rushinga Districts in Zimbabwe are classified as IPC Phase 4, where people are exposed to extreme hunger, severe lack of access to food, increasing malnutrition, major loss of livelihoods and excess mortality. The highest numbers of severely food insecure people are projected to be in Malawi (2.2 million in August, projected to rise to 3.3 million in October), Zimbabwe (2.4 million people just in rural areas), and Madagascar (1.3 million). Increases in food insecurity are closely linked to heightened protection risks for the most vulnerable.
There is currently a 65 to 70 per cent probability of an El Niño phenomenon between December 2018 and February 2019, which coincides with the cropping season in Southern Africa. Although this phenomenon is currently expected to be weaker and shorter than the 2015-2016 event, El Niño is historically associated with depressed rainfall in the southern half of the region. A possible El Niño event could therefore lead to a further deterioration in food insecurity in Southern Africa in 2019, particularly following the low and erratic rainfall recorded to date in 2018.
More than 1,200 new cholera cases were reported across the region from the end of June to the end of August, with Tanzania accounting for the vast majority of cases (1,083). This brought the number of cases reported across the region in 2018 to more than 10,566, including 178 deaths, in Angola (943), Malawi (784), Mozambique (863), Tanzania (3,616), Zambia (4,127) and Zimbabwe (232). Separately, in Mauritius, a measles outbreak which began in early-May 2018 spiked during August, with children under age 4 most affected. In Angola, an eight-year old girl from Cunene Province was diagnosed with the first ever case of Guinea worm in the country.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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