Severe drought continues in parts of southern and central Mozambique
The ongoing El Niño has greatly suppressed rainfall in much of the southern Africa region, leading to severe drought in areas, including parts of southern and central Mozambique. Forecasts indicate that El Niño conditions will continue to drive belowaverage rainfall during the remainder of the season in southern and parts of central Mozambique, while in the north, forecasts indicate average to above-average rainfall.
Food insecurity during the ongoing lean season has been exacerbated by suppressed and erratic rainfall, primarily through a reduction in agricultural labor opportunities. While the ongoing food security assessment by the Vulnerability Assessment Group of the Technical Secretariat of Food Security and Nutrition (SETSAN/GAV) will provide further information on the number of people facing acute food insecurity and the severity of outcomes, FEWS NET estimates that approximately 600,000 people are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and need immediate food assistance, while another 600,000 are Stressed (IPC Phase 2).
Maize grain prices are expected to remain well above average during the entire scenario period through September, with some markets reaching more than 100 percent above average, due to the anticipated below-average availability of maize from local producers and higher demand from households who will have below-average own production. Demand is expected to be above average during the February to May period, and will increase further during August to September and beyond the scenario period, when an increasing number of households will gradually exhaust their food stocks and start turning to markets for food access. This year, the peak prices for staple foods are expected to be above average, and the duration of the high prices is likely to last longer than usual due to increased demand for alternatives to maize grain.