1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Southern Africa continues to recover from the 2015/2016 El Niño-induced drought, which by January 2017 had affected about 41 million people across the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC)1. The substantial government- and SADC-led response, supported by $900 million from the international humanitarian community2, empowered farmers to take advantage of a good 2016/2017 rainfall season, delivering an April 2017 cereal harvest 3 per cent above the 5-year average.
In the wake of El Niño
We are living in the most unusually warm period in history and this is taking a huge toll on the world’s most vulnerable. 2015 was the hottest year on record and 2016 looks set to be even hotter.
As this year’s El Niño in the Pacific lurches towards becoming a La Nina1 , the run of record temperatures looks set to be broken again. But in some ways, this year is not unique. It has become widely acknowledged among the development community that weather-related disasters are the ‘new normal’.
- El Niño“drought effect” likely to have a long-lasting impact as people’ resilience continues to be eroded
- Ethiopia battling worst drought in decades
- Drought, food in security and power shortages stalk southern Africa region
- Cholera, a preventable disease, kills thousands across eastern and southern Africa
- Protracted conflicts to complicate humanitarian situation
- Funding shortfalls paralyse humanitarian responses
Abnormal rainfall patterns during 2014/2015 have contributed to a spike in food insecurity, which is currently affecting at least 27.4 m people regionally (and this excludes Angola, which has yet to publish official figures; and Madagascar, which did not present to SADC, but where 1.9 m people are food insecure, of which 460,000 people are severely so). In Malawi and Zimbabwe, 2.8 m and 1.5 m people are food insecure respectively.
The IASC Alert, Early Warning and Readiness report is produced bi-annually as an inter-agency effort by the Task Team on Preparedness and Resilience (TTPR) for IASC member agencies. The report highlights serious risks that were either identified as being of particular strategic operational concern or as having a high probability and impact on humanitarian needs. In addition to collaboratively assembling the report, the report includes an analysis of the state of readiness, prepared by OCHA, which is compared against each risk.
Objectives and activities
In 2015, as the Millennium Development Goals reach their deadline, the world can reflect on real progress. Since 1990, thanks to the actions of millions of people around the globe, extreme income poverty has been cut by almost two-thirds, child mortality has fallen by more than half, and more children are attending primary school than ever before.
But these achievements tell only part of the story.
Snapshot 16–23 April
Central African Republic: Renewed clashes between anti-balaka and Seleka fighters occurred in several locations in central, northern, and southwestern provinces. MISCA soldiers are being redeployed to cover areas previously secured by the Chadian contingent. A Christian religious leader was killed and four were abducted in two northern towns, while 30 Christian civilians were reportedly killed in a central town.
Syria: Violence is intensifying in Damascus, with increased attacks from both the Government and the opposition. In Aleppo, fighting between Syrian troops and opposition fighters is causing further casualties. In the east, infighting between rival opposition factions has led to a reinforcement of Iraqi troops’ positions on the Iraqi side of the border. To date, over nine million people are in need of assistance, and more than 2.6 million have fled the country. In early April, humanitarian assistance was allowed in besieged areas in Aleppo for the first time since June.
(Pretoria, 08 November 2013): A groundbreaking study into the threats likely to confront southern African communities over the next decade has been released. Titled Humanitarian Trends in Southern Africa: Challenges and Opportunities, the study identifies regional and global factors that may impact the lives and livelihoods of southern Africans and, as importantly, the available capacities to address these challenges.
The regional armyworm outbreak has been largely contained.
A plan has been drawn up to address the locust outbreak in Madagascar, but it requires funding.
Early warning systems save lives in Mozambique and Madagascar.