Drought conditions to significantly reduce 2015/16 harvests and affect livelihoods
In February, the President of Zimbabwe declared a state of national disaster in view of the El Niño-induced poor rains and the escalating food insecurity situation. An appeal has been made for USD $1.5 billion for food and other emergency needs.
In the typically marginal production areas in the south, (including Matabeleland, Masvingo, Midlands, and Manicaland Provinces) households are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) due to low levels of assistance and Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) in the presence of assistance. Households in these areas will face food gaps from April onwards due to little or no access to the green harvest in March/April, the end of assistance programming in March, and very poor harvest prospects in May. These outcomes will continue through September. Immediate assistance is needed to protect livelihoods and reduce food consumption gaps.
In the traditionally cereal surplus areas in the north most areas are experiencing a combination of Stressed (IPC Phase 2 and 2!), in the presence of assistance. Household production from previous seasons stocks are very low or depleted and market demand is increasing. Access to green consumption in March/April will be limited due to the ongoing drought conditions and poor harvests prospects. The food security situation is expected to improve slightly in these areas during the harvest period from May to July. Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are expected to continue from August through September as local maize supplies dry up and prices increase.