Conflict, drought, and COVID-19 drive high food assistance needs through May 2021
• Currently, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes prevail in areas affected by drought in the south and conflict in Cabo Delgado. Humanitarian food assistance is planned and likely to increase in November, after which time Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes are expected to prevail, in the southern drought-affected areas, through May 2021. Conversely, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes will begin to emerge in October in southern Tete and northern Manica provinces due to below-average household food stocks and limited household purchasing power limiting food access. Many areas that were affected by Cyclone Idai in 2019 continue facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes.
• In urban and peri-urban areas, despite some relaxation in COVID-19 control measures, and the border reopening with South Africa, poor households continue to face difficulty obtaining sufficient food and income due to continued restrictions on the operation of small income-generating businesses. With limited income to purchase food from markets, the worst-affected poor urban and peri-urban households are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).
• Humanitarian food assistance is ongoing and likely to continue until at least March 2021. Most assistance will likely be directed towards the internally displaced people (IDPs) in Cabo Delgado, droughtaffected households in southern and central regions, and households recovering from Cyclone Idai. However, current and planned assistance for IDPs is likely insufficient to meet needs due to the flow of displaced households and improve outcomes among beneficiaries. Humanitarian assistance is likely to improve area-level outcomes to Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) in drought-affected areas. Current food assistance is assessed to cover less than half of FEWS NET's estimated food assistance needs from November 2020 to March 2021, and some households are likely to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).
• Except for conflict zones where affected households have deviated from their typical agricultural activities, a favorable 2020/2021 agricultural season is expected across Mozambique. Land preparation began in much of the south and parts of central Mozambique after the first rains in early October. However, cumulative rainfall is still insufficient for successful planting, and most rural households are waiting for the November rains to begin seasonal planting. With average rainfall forecast for much of the country, agricultural activities, including agricultural work, are expected to occur at normal levels, except in conflict zones where agricultural activity involvement will be well below average.