Globally, millions of vulnerable people are experiencing increased hunger and poverty due to droughts, floods, storms and extreme temperature fluctuations as a result of a climatic occurrence: El Niño. This phenomenon is not an individual weather event but a climate pattern which occurs every two to seven years and lasts 9-12 months. The 2015/2016 occurrence is one of the most severe in a half-century and the strongest El Niño since 1997/1998 which killed some 21,000 people and caused damage to infrastructure worth US$ 36 billion. The negative consequences of El Niño are foreseen to continue through 2017, particularly in Southern Africa where this event has followed multiple droughts compounding the already fragile situation. It is critical that an adequate and sustained response is implemented in order to safeguard decades of development gains. More than US$2 billion are required to support food security and agriculture programmes globally through 2017.