Nearly 12 million people, or 20% of the country’s population, are facing severe food insecurity at the height of the lean season, (IPC 3 or above) according to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) preliminary results. The situation has worsened since the lean season started in September 2020.
The deteriorating food security is mainly driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigation measures as well as high food prices, drought and economic decline, according to the report. Slowdown in the national economy resulted in mass job losses over the last two quarters of 2020.
A significant price increase of about 30% or more was observed for certain products within the food basket. Income loss is a major threat to households’ food access in urban areas, where there is dependence on purchases for all food needs.
South Africa has the highest number of COVID-19 cases on the African continent with over 1.5 million confirmed cases. Ongoing drought in certain areas of the country will continue to negatively impact livestock production, according to the analysis.