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It is important to note the below food security outcomes are the result of country-specific analyses in March. Impacts on food security outcomes due to Cyclone Idai and associated flooding will be updated in country-specific analyses at the end of April. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes persist in conflict-affected areas of DRC, semi-arid southern Madagascar, and across Zimbabwe due to ongoing macroeconomic policy changes and drought. Humanitarian assistance continues to prevent more severe outcomes in southern DRC and Madagascar to Crisis! (IPC Phase 3!) and southern Mozambique and areas of Zimbabwe and Malawi to Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!). In DRC, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) persist as conflict continues to disrupt livelihoods and the rest of the region is in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) or Minimal (IPC Phase 1).
Humanitarian assistance is ongoing in Cyclone Idai-affected areas of Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi. However, based on recent OCHA reports, there are an estimated 175,000 people in hard to reach areas of Sofala and Manica provinces in Mozambique. Humanitarian assistance distribution in these areas remains limited through airdrops. In all the three countries many poor households are anticipated to need humanitarian assistance through the end of the 2019/20 consumption year as they have lost their livelihoods and harvest for the 2019/20 season. Overall, the cyclone negatively impacted infrastructure, agriculture labor opportunities, the ongoing agriculture season, and market access in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.
As is typical during the peak lean season, staple food prices in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe increased, influenced by rising market demand as more households are relying on markets for food as well as flooding and limited market access. In Lesotho, maize meal prices continue to trend slightly below the five-year average, but are increasing. Imported rice prices in Madagascar were 15 to 30 percent above the five-year average, however local rice prices were stable, except for the southern parts where some markets were not well supplied.
Most areas across the region are most likely to improve to Minimal (IPC Phase 1) or Stressed (IPC Phase 2) with the harvest in April or May, although the below-average harvest will only improve outcomes temporarily. In conflict-affected areas of DRC, southern semi-arid Madagascar and Mozambique, and deficit producing areas of Zimbabwe are anticipated to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes. Beginning in July food security outcomes will start deteriorating as poor household food stocks are most likely to be limited in areas affected by the poor rainfall performance.
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.