Pockets of food insecurity found in Southern and Central regions
Pockets of food insecurity persist in the south and center of Mozambique, and households are increasingly relying on negative livelihood strategies as a result of (1) severe rainfall deficits across the country resulting in poor maize production and significant yield reductions for other crops; (2) reductions of potable water availability for humans and animals.
According to the Vulnerability Assessment Group and the Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission, about 430,000 people require immediate and continuous food assistance until March 2006; while an additional 160,000 people may need assistance later in the year (see Figure 1 for geographic distribution of the needs).
Figure 1. Geographic coverage of needs due to drought
The level of household food insecurity is more pronounced in the cereal deficit southern region, where crop production and water availability for humans and animals were severely affected by the drought. There are no significant food deficits in the northern region.
The areas circled in Figure 1 encompasses the Semi Arid Interior the Semi Arid Border livelihood zones in Gaza and Inhambane provinces, where drought tends to have a more significant impact on household food security than in other zones. Markets in these zones are limited, making households in these zones highly dependent on crop production; also, cropping is limited to only one season, which makes the livelihood system vulnerable to seasonal rainfall failures, like the one that occurred this year. Households are already relying to the extent they can on food purchase to make up for their production gaps. Therefore, food prices in the southern region will be key determinants of poor and middle-income household food security in coming months.
At present, available food aid resources only cover the needs of about 37 percent of those identified as requiring immediate assistance. Urgent resource mobilization is needed now in order to assist food insecure households and to prevent the need for more expensive interventions like supplementary or therapeutic feeding later. Other mitigation plans for agricultural and water interventions are being planned and executed by the government and its partners.
Seasonal timeline for southern and central Mozambique