Zimbabwe + 12 more

Southern Africa: Humanitarian Snapshot (March - April 2018)

Originally published



329,900 people impacted by floods / cyclones in 2018

8,033 cholera cases (since Jan 2018)

24 regions with active cholera outbreaks

898,000 refugees and asylum seekers hosting in the region


Cyclones and heavy rains impacted more than 95,700 people in Southern Africa in March and April, causing at least 83 deaths, temporarily displacing 24,000 people and damaging houses, infrastructure and crops. In March, Madagascar was hit by Severe Tropical Storm Eliakim and Mauritius and La Reunion were affected by Cyclone Dumazile. This brings the number of people impacted by cyclones and floods across the region in 2018 to 329,900.

In March and April, at least three regions reported new active cholera outbreaks in Tanzania and Zimbabwe. In Tanzania, two new oubreaks were reported in Kigoma region (138 cases including 1 death) and Arusha (115 cases including 5 deaths) during March and April respectively. A new outbreak of cholera in the suburbs of Harare was reported in March, with 51 cases reported, including three deaths (Case Fatality Rate (CFR) 6 per cent). Lack of access to adequate water and sanitation is the biggest driver of cholera outbreaks across Southern Africa, while refugee outflows due to crises in neighbouring countries have exacerbated the risk of the spread of water-borne diseases. In Namibia, a case of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever was confirmed in March and an outbreak of Hepatitis E is ongoing, with the majority of cases reported from informal settlements in the capital, Windhoek.

The food security outlook has improved since the end of February. Late rains in February and March 2018 benefited late planted crops and improved pasture for livestock. While countries have revised their production forecasts upwards, cereal production in the upcoming harvest season is still expected to be below average. However, regional cereal supply is sufficient due to large carry-over stocks from the above-average 2017 harvest. No major global acute malnutrition spikes occurred during the peak lean season (January – March). The major challenge continues to be chronic malnutrition, which remains in the high to very high category in 13 countries in the region.

Southern Africa now hosts over 898,000 refugees and asylum seekers, more than half a million of whom are from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (239,600) and Burundi (286,740). New arrivals continue to be reported, with almost 12,400 refugees and asylum seekers having arrived in countries across the region in 2018.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.