Key Message Update

December rainfall decreased early season deficits in some areas, though deficits remain in others

December 2020

November 2020 - January 2021

February - May 2021

IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
National Parks/Reserves
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
Not mapped
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners. FEWS NET only maps the Eastern half of DRC.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Not mapped
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC v3.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
National Parks/Reserves
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
Not mapped
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners. FEWS NET only maps the Eastern half of DRC.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

Key Messages

  • As the lean season is starting to peak, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are ongoing and expected to persist through at least February 2021 in southern Madagascar, southern and central Mozambique, and in much of Zimbabwe and Lesotho. In April 2021, food security outcomes are expected to improve with the harvest to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Minimal (IPC Phase 1) in most parts of the region. The green harvest, which is expected in February and March 2021, will provide some short-term access to own foods; however, this is not expected to improve food access significantly. Continued conflict in Ituri Province of DRC and Cabo Delgado in Mozambique is resulting in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes with some isolated areas of Ituri Province currently facing Emergency (IPC Phase 4).

  • The 2020/21 rainfall season has started well across most parts of the region. Rainfall had a timely start from mid-October through November for most countries. Based on remote sensing data, most parts of Southern Africa received normal to above normal rainfall between October and mid-December. This is with the exemption for parts of Eswatini, northern Mozambique, southern Tanzania, most of Madagascar, and southern Angola. As of mid-December, these areas have notable rainfall deficits. Most international and regional forecasts project a normal to above normal rainfall over the second half of the season for most of Southern Africa. Combined with a good start, this is expected to lead to a better season than the previous two seasons in many areas.  

  • Agricultural activities are increasing as many farmers are engaged in digging, ridge making, plowing, and planting. The October to December rainfall was mostly sufficient for planting. Crops are at various stages due to differences in the timing of planting across the region. But generally, the majority of maize crops are at the emergence to early vegetative stage. While there is increased confidence about the season so far, the risk for Fall Armyworm remains. Furthermore, there are increasing concerns about African Migratory Locusts, a likely threat to South Africa and potentially Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Mozambique.

  • Despite a gradual increase in agricultural labor opportunities, incomes remain below average for most poor households across the region. This is worsened by the extended impacts of COVID-19 despite the general improvements in economic activities following the relaxing of restrictions. Most major borders, including South Africa, are now open, increasing labor migration for migrants from Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Lesotho, and eSwatini. However, the need for a valid COVID-19 certificate at border posts, which comes at a cost, is a limitation to many migrants. Although Remittances are still below average, they are also slowly increasing as economic activities have not yet reached normal levels in most urban centers.​

About FEWS NET

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on approximately 30 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, USGS, and CHC-UCSB, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica.
Learn more About Us.

Link to United States Agency for International Development (USAID)Link to the United States Geological Survey's (USGS) FEWS NET Data PortalLink to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Link to National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Earth ObservatoryLink to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service, Climage Prediction CenterLink to the Climate Hazards Center - UC Santa BarbaraLink to KimetricaLink to Chemonics