Food assistance needs are likley to increase through the peak of the lean season
Since July, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes in semiarid areas of Gaza, Inhambane, and Tete provinces continue and more households will likely face these outcomes through the lean season. In some remote areas of Gaza, in the absence of assistance, Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes may emerge in December 2018 among some households due to no food stocks and income and limited access for second season cropping. Stressed (IPC Phase 2) will likely persist in non-remote central and southern semiarid areas and areas affected by attacks in Cabo Delgado.
The Food Security Cluster (FSC) and partners are developing a plan for humanitarian food assistance based on the 2018/19 lean season needs. WFP continues to provide food assistance in various areas, helping to mitigate worse outcomes. Given the plan has not yet been fully developed it is not yet possible to determine the impact of humanitarian food assistance.
From August to September, maize grain prices increased following typical seasonal trends in monitored markets. In Pemba and Nampula markets prices returned to normal levels after two months of significant price increases as millers and traders have likely met their demand quotas. Generally, maize grain prices in September were above last year’s prices and slightly below the five-year average, except in Chókwe where the maize grain price was 22 percent higher than the five-year average. The high price in Chókwe reflects the significantly below average availability of maize grain in the southern region.
The updated seasonal forecast for southern and central areas indicates average rainfall is mostly likely with average to above-average rain most likely in northern Mozambique. However, it is important to note there are a wide range of possibilities due to the uncertainty associated with the weak El Niño. Rain has started in southern and central areas and households are starting land preparation and planting activities. However, it is still early to determine if this represent the start of the rains for successful planting. Agriculture labor opportunities typically increase at this time, but in most cases, payments will not begin until the harvest in April 2019.