Southern Africa: Humanitarian Snapshot (September - October 2018)
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.
The risk of an El Niño event from October to December is now at least 80 per cent. An El Niño during this time is generally associated with below-average rain in parts of Southern Africa - especially southern Madagascar and the border areas of north-east South Africa, southern Mozambique and south-east Zimbabwe - and could therefore exacerbate the impacts of the erratic rainfall received to date in 2018. As the probability of El Niño has risen above 75 per cent, Phase 2 of the Global Inter-Agency Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Early Action to El Niño/La Niña episodes has been activated. Madagascar, Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Eswatini have been identified as the six highest-risk countries in the region and prioritized for early action and further analysis.
The number of cholera cases in Southern Africa doubled from the end of August, with over 21,000 cases reported by the end of October, mainly due to a new outbreak in Zimbabwe and an increase in cases in Tanzania. In Zimbabwe, the outbreak declared on 4 September 2018, has been brought under control and the Oral Cholera Vaccination campaign has reached 92 per cent of the nearly 1.5 million people targeted in Harare and neighbouring areas. In Tanzania, nearly 700 new cases were reported, while in Malawi, a new outbreak was reported in Salima district and in Mozambique in Cabo Delgado and Nampula provinces. Separately, in Madagascar, 103 suspected plague cases (bubonic and pulmonary) were reported in September and October, including 38 confirmed cases and seven deaths. A measles outbreak was confirmed in Madagascar’s capitall, Antananarivo, on 3 October, with 1,645 suspected cases reported as of 6 November. The outbreak is attributed to low population immunity, and only 58 per cent of people have been vaccinated against measles in Madagascar.
People were impacted by violence in both Comoros and Mozambique. In Comoros, localized clashes on the island of Anjouan in October resulted in people temporarily losing access to water and power, and a small number of people were briefly displaced. In Mozambique, 55 homes were allegedly burned during an attack in Cabo Delgado by an armed group in September which reportedly killed and injured several people. Meanwhile, an estimated 350,000 Congolese nationals – including 80,000 children - have been returned to DRC from Angola since the Government of Angola’s “Operação Transparência” started on 25 September.