Mozambique Food Security Outlook Update, December 2020

Situation Report
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Poorly distributed rainfall through December limits planting in southern Mozambique


  • In Cabo Delgado, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes persist as most IDPs have lost access to their basic livelihoods due to the conflict. Neighboring areas that were previously classified as Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) now face Crisis (IPC 3) outcomes due to a rapid increase in IDPs. In inaccessible areas affected by conflict, humanitarian food assistance (HFA) has not been delivered. Some of the most affected households that have lost their homes and livelihood assets and face difficulty escaping to safe areas are likely to face greater food consumption deficits.

  • In drought-affected areas, households continue to employ coping strategies indicative of Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes, including reducing the quantity and frequency of meals and consuming wild foods due to below-average income and exhausted food stocks. In April 2021, food security is expected to improve to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) or Minimal (IPC Phase 1) with the start of the harvest. Households recovering from 2019's Cyclone Idai continue to face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes. Due to the COVID-19 economic shock in urban and peri-urban areas, the poorest households continue to face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes. However, the recent relaxation of COVID-19 control measures is expected to increase income access.

  • In October and much of November, erratic and weak rainfall, interspersed with above-average temperatures, negatively affected planting in the southern region. Through mid-December, rainfall has continued to be erratic, except in northern Gaza, central and northern Inhambane, and the southern tip of Maputo province. However, moderate to heavy rains in late November, and early December encouraged many households to begin planting for the 2020/21 season in the central region. In the north, rainfall and planting started in mid-December.

  • Severe Tropical Storm Chalane made landfall on December 30, 2020 in Sofala province, close to the cities of Dondo and Beira. Winds were over 90 km/hr with over 100 mm of precipitation in 24 hours. Chalane is expected to continue west into Zimbabwe. The cyclone comes less than two years after Cyclone Idai. Chalane is expected to be less damaging, but strong winds and heavy rain are expected to drive flooding and damage to homes, crops and infrastructure. Chalane is expected to reduce the pace of recovery of poor households that were affected by 2019’s Cyclone Idai. Analysis of Chalane’s impacts will be included in future reports.