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WFP Southern Africa Seasonal Update - 2018/19 Seasonal Performance


• The 2018/19 season, the driest season since at least 1981 in central and western parts of the region, was marked by delayed and erratic onset of rains, midseason dry spells, and early cessation of rains. From October 2018 to early April 2019, parts of southern Angola, northern Namibia, southern Botswana, northern South Africa, southern Zambia and northern Zimbabwe registered significantly below average rainfall (50%~ below average, Figure 1).

• The 2018/19 season also saw an unprecedented event of back to back cyclones (Idai and Kenneth) striking Mozambique. As a result, parts of northern and central Mozambique received significantly above average rainfall, leading to widespread and unprecedented flooding in central and northern Mozambique. Cyclone Idai also affected southern Malawi and eastern Zimbabwe, and Cyclone Kenneth also brought above average rainfall to southeastern Tanzania.

• Overall, there has been a reduction in planted area and wilting of crops in drought affected areas, and damage to standing crop awaiting harvesting in cyclone affected areas (Figure 2). Reduced planted area and reduced yield/crop failure in multiple parts of the region, combined with crop destruction due to flooding in other areas is likely to result in tighter regional supply and deterioration of the food security situation in the upcoming 2019/20 consumption year.