Mozambique Food Security Update, October 2008

Situation Report
Originally published


October marks the normal start to the hunger period and the agricultural season. This year's hunger period is likely to be particularly harsh in areas where the 2008 main and second season harvests were affected by drought and other hazards. Floods occurred in the central region and parts of the north, cyclones destroyed crops and infrastructure in coastal Nampula and Zambezia, wildfires struck the central region, and moderate to severe drought continues in the southern and part of the central regions.

Food insecurity is worsening in most of the country's droughtaffected areas, and humanitarian assistance is urgently needed to assist over 300,000 food insecure people. Currently only about 250,000 persons in flood and drought affected areas are being assisted. WFP has planned to address all food needs, but their food aid pipeline is undersupplied, and a pipeline break is imminent.

The seasonal rains usually begin in the south in October but have yet to start this year. The late onset of the rains has increased the probability of prolonged drought conditions in the south up until January and an extension of the hunger period into February.

Food prices continue to rise, although the rate of increase has declined. Maize prices are still well above both the five-year average (2003-07) and prices at this time last year