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Increased food supply in markets and improving economic performance are driving lower food prices

  • Key Message Update
  • Angola
  • March 2023
Increased food supply in markets and improving economic performance are driving lower food prices

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In Huila, Namibe, and Cunene of southwestern Angola, total rainfall amounts for the ongoing main season were near average as of early February; however, minimal to no rainfall was received in these areas in mid and late February. In Huila, rainfall in March was more substantial, and forecasts point to continued normal rainfall through early April, bringing totals to only somewhat (about 15 percent) below average. Overall, favorable crop production is still expected in Huila, although an infestation of armyworm in western municipalities will likely result in some crop losses. Rainfall also picked up in March in Namibe and Cunene, and average rainfall is forecast in April, but totals are expected to remain more substantially below average, at around 30 percent. Below-average crop production is now expected in both areas.

    • The below-average rainfall totals are negatively affecting vegetation in the southwest of the country. Satellite-derived imagery suggests vegetation conditions are very poor in Namibe, at less than 60 percent of average, while conditions are more mixed in Cunene and Huila. Information from key informants suggests some households in the area are traveling long distances with livestock in search of pasture and water. The relatively poor pasture conditions in the southwest signals that many pastoralists are unlikely to migrate back to the area.

    • Economic performance in Angola continues to gradually improve. The national bank decreased its lending rate from 18 percent to 17 percent between February and March, and inflation decreased from 12.21 percent to 11.54 percent over the same period. This increase in economic activity has allowed the Strategic Food Reserve (REA) to increase food imports, which has had a positive impact on food inflation. Between February and March, food inflation decreased from 9.56 percent to 8.52. This positively affects food access, as many poor households rely on markets to access food.

    • The early availability of cereals and vegetables in the center and center-north provinces is driving an increase in food supply in markets across the country, including in the southwest. This, alongside improved economic performance, is putting downward pressure on staple food prices. In March, the National Institute of Statistics (INE) reported that prices of maize and beans in Huila markets have decreased 2.1 and 1.87 percent, respectively. The lower food prices in the areas of highest concern are gradually improving poor households’ food access, though at the same time the demand for agricultural labor has seasonally declined, lowering their access to income from this source.

    • It is likely that populations remain in need of humanitarian food assistance in southwestern Angola, as a result of the negative impact of past consecutive seasons of poor rainfall on poor households’ typical sources of food and income, namely crop and livestock production and casual labor. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected in Huila, Namibe, and Cunene in March. Currently, the Ministry of Health is conducting rapid nutrition assessments in Cunene and Huila, and WFP is conducting field assessments focused on the impact of the assistance vouchers provided in the southwest. Although seasonal performance has been mixed, food security is still likely to improve to Stressed IPC Phase 2) between June and September, with the availability of the harvest in theses areas.

    Recommended citation: FEWS NET. Angola Key Message Update March 2023: Increased food supply in markets and improving economic performance are driving lower food prices, 2023.

    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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