Zimbabwe + 6 more

WFP Southern Africa El Niño Situation Report #9, 21 February 2017

Situation Report
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Food Assistance in Numbers

  • Over the three month peak of the crisis (January—March), WFP’s aims to reach more than 13 million people with food assistance in Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
  • In January, food assistance reached 10.6 million people in the seven countries.


  • Emergency assistance to those affected by the drought has reached peak intensity. WFP and its partners have augmented activities and will maintain expanded operations at least through March.
  • Additional resources will still make a difference as WFP has mechanisms in place to quickly turn contributions into food and cash transfers for severely vulnerable people in the drought affected countries.

Situation Update

  • El Niño conditions during the 2015-2016 planting season have caused the most severe drought in more than 30 years in Southern Africa. With the turn of the year, Southern Africa has entered the peak period of the response. Food stocks have largely been depleted and food assistance is often the only lifeline that exists for vulnerable women, men, girls and boys.
  • The nutrition situation has deteriorated in the seven drought affected countries over the last eight months. Acute malnutrition continues to be prevalent with several countries recording wasting levels above 5 percent. Although the nutrition situation in most countries remains below emergency thresholds at national level, pockets of very high acute malnutrition are prevalent in Zimbabwe and Madagascar.
  • Meanwhile, HIV vulnerability in the region remains concerning and signs of increased malnutrition among people living with HIV and AIDS on antiretroviral treatment are emerging along with service delivery break-downs. There is a significant risk that development gains achieved could be lost.