Southern Africa is projected to be one of one of the most vulnerable regions to the impacts of climate change. Floods and cyclones affected several countries and more than 400,000 people across the region were affected in 2018. The estimated population in the sub region is over 340 million. With 60 per cent of the population living in urban areas, this rise in urbanization means more youth are living in towns where employment opportunities are limited leading to increased crime and other socio – economic development challenges.
The 2019 plan is being developed within a context where there is a 70 per cent probability of an El Niño event in 2019 season which could lead to a further deterioration of food insecurity particularly following the low and erratic rainfall recorded to date in 2018. This food insecurity situation is likely to affect the gains made in decreasing the prevalence of child malnutrition making it difficult to attain the World Health Assembly target of a 40% reduction in the number of stunted children by 2025
The sub region has the most severe HIV epidemic accounting for almost one third (12.8 million) of all people living with HIV in the world. Although the rates of new infection have generally declined, the prevalence of new infections in adolescent girls remains high. Investing in partnership with Southern African National Societies will be boost in their existing advanced HIV programs with a strong focus on reducing new infections contributing towards the global initiative of ‘ending AIDS by 2030’
Cholera is endemic in Southern Africa and most recently in Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe more than 15042 cases and 237 deaths were confirmed. Other communicable diseases are also present in the region, including Hepatitis E in Angola and Namibia, Guinea Worm in Angola (first case confirmed in June 2018), measles in Zambia, typhoid in Zimbabwe and listeriosis in South Africa.
National Societies programmes and activities will be supported to address the outlined humanitarian challenges. While governments in the region continue to respond to recurrent shocks, there is an urgent need for comprehensive action by governments and development partners to address the root causes of chronic vulnerability. The IFRC is part of humanitarian partners supporting Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) to develop a Regional Resilience Strategy. The IFRC also Chairs the Food Security Working Group thereby championing the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement as a leading humanitarian actor and positioning Southern African National Societies to be more visible and credible humanitarian players in their national context.