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Drought and high fuel prices limit seasonal improvements in food access

  • Key Message Update
  • Angola
  • April 2024
Drought and high fuel prices limit seasonal improvements in food access

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Low cumulative rainfall through the 2023/24 rainy season has led to crop losses and significantly lower-than-normal harvests. Limited access to income and high food prices amid continuing price inflation are expected to drive Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes, particularly in southern Angola. As the rainy season concludes, cumulative seasonal rainfall is 70 to 85 percent of the 40-year average across much of Angola's southern, eastern, and central areas, and 55 to 70 percent of the average in parts of Cunene, Cuando Cubango, and Moxico. Consequently, the national maize, sorghum, and millet harvest are estimated to be 17, 9, and 12 percent lower than last year, while around 40, 31, and 27 percent of the planted area in Cunene, Namibe, and Cuando Cubango is expected to be lost due to poor rainfall, according to the Ministry of Agriculture. Additionally, most crops replanted between December and February are stressed or in poor condition due to a lack of water during the critical growth period.
    • Due to low water availability and deteriorating vegetation, there are reports of atypical cattle deaths in southern Angola. Households are also selling or slaughtering animals for consumption well ahead of the normal culling time, typically around December at the peak of the lean season. According to the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, vegetation conditions in the main livestock and settlement areas of Cunene province are 70 to 80 percent of normal. In Cunene Province, the lack of water and feed for animals is negatively affecting around 151,300 families who rely on livestock as an important livelihood asset in the municipalities of Curoca, Cahama, Ombandja, and Cuanhama, according to the Ministry of Agriculture. Pastoralist households also receive lower revenue from cattle sales as cattle body conditions are poor, and they cannot trek to previously negotiated sale points. Buyers are therefore charging sellers for the higher cost of animal transportation by truck from rural areas to the main markets in Lubango, Huambo, and Luanda, further reducing earnings.
    • Headline inflation remains high and continues to rise, increasing from 24 percent in February to 26 percent in March. The official food inflation rate has also increased from 27.4 percent in February to 30.1 percent in March. To combat inflation, the Central Bank of Angola increased interest rates by 100 basis points to 19 percent on March 15. However, inflation rates are likely to continue to rise following a 48 percent increase in diesel fuel prices after the government cut fuel subsidies on April 23, along with associated speculation by traders.
    • In southern Angola, the poor harvest, high food prices, and limited access to income from crop and cattle sales are expected to drive Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes through the outlook period. In April, the rise in fuel prices and the start of the below-average harvest will likely keep transportation and food prices high, limiting household purchasing capacity. In the post-harvest period, deterioration in already below-average pasture conditions will likely further impact cattle body conditions, with households likely to increase sales to maximize profits and earn income for food purchases. Poor households are expected to rely more than usual on community, government, and NGO support to access food through the post-harvest period.

    Recommended citation: FEWS NET. Angola Key Message Update April 2024: Drought and high fuel prices limit seasonal improvements in food access, 2024.

    This Key Message Update provides a high-level analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography. Learn more here.

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