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Southern Africa: Humanitarian Snapshot (May - June 2018)

Originally published



Severe food insecurity is rising in several countries in Southern Africa, according to the SADC Regional Vulnerability Assessment and Analysis. These include: Malawi (about 2.4 million people projected to be severely food insecure); Zambia (about 954,100 people); and Zimbabwe (about 2.4 million people in rural areas and approximately 1.5 million in urban areas). In the south of Madagascar, nearly 239,000 people are facing Emergency food insecurity (IPC phase 4) and 531,500 are in Crisis (IPC phase 3). In Mozambique, 891,000 people are projected to be severely food insecure, particularly in Tete and Gaza provinces, between April and September 2018, including some 169,300 facing Emergency food insecurity and nearly 721,700 classified as in Crisis. Global models run by international climate forecasting institutions increasingly predict an El Niño phenomenon during the 2018/2019 season, which may cause below-average rainfall in parts of Southern Africa.

Although the cholera outbreak in Zambia has been contained, the number of cases recorded in Tanzania increased exponentially in May and cholera has resurfaced in Malawi and Angola. In Tanzania, heavy seasonal rains in May caused a spike in cases, with more than double the number of cases reported in May (675) as compared to April (278). The number of cholera cases recorded from January to June 2018 (2,533) is more than twice the number recorded during the same period in 2017 (1,287 cases). In Malawi, cholera resurfaced in Salima district of Central Province in June, just a few weeks after the country was declared cholera-free. In Angola, an outbreak has been declared in the capital, Luanda. Separately, the hepatitis E outbreak in Namibia remains ongoing, with the majority of cases reported from informal settlements in the capital, Windhoek, while the annual plague season is approaching in Madagascar.

Despite a small decrease in May and June, Southern Africa continues to host some 885,000 refugees, including from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Burundi. This includes more than 237,300 Burundian refugees and asylum seekers receiving assistance in Tanzania, some 4,800 in Mozambique, more than 7,500 in Malawi and more than 5,000 in Zambia, according to UNHCR. Nearly 10,600 Burundians were repatriated from Tanzania in May and June. Meanwhile, Mozambique remains a country of origin, transit and destination for people engaged in complex mixed migration movements, including from the Horn of Africa, according to IOM. In addition, there have been reports of internal displacement in Cabo Delgado province in northern Mozambique as a result of attacks by non-state armed actors. During these attacks, civilians have allegedly been killed and dozens of houses have reportedly been burnt.

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