In March, WFP scaled up the cash based transfer component significantly reaching 114,056 people, while 88,580 are receiving in-kind rations in March/April.
WFP’s Food by Prescription project remains underfunded. While the distribution of household rations resumed in November 2016, pipeline breaks are expected in June 2017.
Drought and Food Security:
WFP continues to scale up the CBT modality to additional locations in the Sishiselweni and Manzini regions to account for increasing needs during the lean season. WFP has also transitioned 33,500 people from in-kind to CBT assistance.
The in-kind distribution started at the end of March and will continue in April. As the EMOP is coming to an end, the March/April in-kind distribution will be the last one, however CBT activities may continue one additional month.
The Government is coordinating a multi-sectoral assessment to update information on impact of the drought at the peak of the lean season and the final report will be published in April/May. The country-wide assessment will support planning and implementation of intervention strategies and adaptation measures. WFP is providing technical and financial support.
The Ministry of Agriculture has reported the presence of fall armyworm in the country, however the extent of impact is not yet known. A pre-harvest assessment took place in March and results will be released in the coming weeks.
HIV and Nutrition: WFP is discussing with the Ministry of Health to advocate for government and donor contributions to support WFP’s Food by Prescription programme. A comprehensive health and nutrition assessment comparing 2014 to 2015, reveals an increase in the number of patients defaulting from antiretroviral therapy (12 percent) and treatment for TB, and less adherence to HIV and TB treatment.
Social protection for Orphans and Vulnerable Children: Due to the drought impact, the project has been extended throughout 2017, to allow for assistance to continue in a time of increased need.
WFP continues to support the Government to strengthen social protection systems.