Below normal rains received across the bulk of the country during the first half of the season
• Most northern and typical cereal-surplus areas continue to experience Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food security outcomes which are expected through March 2018 and for the remainder of the outlook period. However, typical cereal-deficit areas in the southern, western, and extreme northern regions are currently Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) due to low or depleted ownproduced food stocks and limited livelihood activities. Some areas are being targeted for humanitarian assistance, but only during the period of January to March 2018 will the level of assistance in a few districts improve outcomes to Stressed (IPC Phase 2!).
• Below normal cumulative rainfall has been received across the bulk of the country since the start of the 2017-18 rainfall season in October and November. The worst affected province is Mashonaland West, one of the highest surplus-producing areas in the country. Planted area is lower than typical in most areas and agricultural activity is below-normal as well.
• Maize grain supplies in local markets is unusually good across most parts of the country, so the typical pattern of the movement of grain from surplus areas in the north to deficit areas in the south is not occurring. Maize grain prices continue to be atypically stable and below average, but due to poor livelihoods and cash shortages, the majority of poor households are still not able to access maize grain.