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Poor households expected to rely on market purchases earlier than usual

  • Key Message Update
  • Southern Africa
  • August 2018
Poor households expected to rely on market purchases earlier than usual

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Following below-average 2018 harvests in many parts of the region, poor households in southern areas of Malawi, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, and central and southern Mozambique are expected to continue facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes through at least January. In eastern DRC, where conflict continues to disrupt households' access to food and income, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is also expected. The rest of the region is likely to maintain Minimal (IPC Phase 1) or Stressed (IPC Phase 2) throughout the projection period.

    • Most markets in the region remain well supplied and prices for maize grain are still slightly below average. However, many poor households are expected to deplete their crops by August, two months earlier than usual. This will increase demand for staple food from markets earlier than usual and is expected to trigger maize price increases in several areas of Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe. The retail price of maize is expected to be roughly 15 to 30 percent above the five-year average between August 2018 and January 2019.

    • Increasing conflict and insecurity in Tanganyika province of the DRC is limiting humanitarian access to over 300,000 displaced people. Recent reports from the United Nations indicate that several humanitarian partners operating in the area have suspended humanitarian assistance delivery due to insecurity and this may result in worse food security outcomes among many who are already experiencing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes.  FEWS NET also continues monitoring insecurity incidents in Mozambique where sporadic attacks in Cabo Delgado Province continue to disrupt livelihoods.

    • An increased likelihood of an El Niño event is forecast to occur during the main part of the summer cropping season. Historically El Niño has been associated with below-average rainfall in Southern Africa between October and December, when summer cereals are planted in most parts of the region. Below-average rainfall during this time would likely result in lower levels of planting and weeding, and consequently lower availability of agricultural labor for poor households who rely on this source of income during the lean season.

    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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