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Heavy early February rainfall in parts of the region slightly improve crop conditions

  • Key Message Update
  • Southern Africa
  • February 2020
Heavy early February rainfall in parts of the region slightly improve crop conditions

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Humanitarian food assistance delivery is improving areas of Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe to Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!). However, funding shortfalls continue, especially in Zimbabwe where food assistance needs are atypically high due to the impacts of the consecutive poor seasons and deteriorating macroeconomy. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are present in conflict affected areas of DRC and areas of Madagascar, Mozambique, Malawi, Lesotho, and Zimbabwe where many households are having difficulty accessing food.

    • Seasonal improvements in food access are expected with the harvest across much of the region in March/April. However, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected during the post-harvest period in southern Mozambique and Zimbabwe as the result of the 2019/20 drought and ongoing conflict in northern Mozambique. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is also expected to continue in conflict affected areas of DRC. The rest of the region will most likely face Minimal (IPC Phase 1) and Stressed (IPC Phase 2).

    • From mid-January through early February, most parts of the region experienced favorable rainfall improving crop conditions in areas where crops had not yet wilted. However, conditions remained generally poor in parts of Zimbabwe and southern Mozambique. As of late January, crops were in generally satisfactory condition across Madagascar. In DRC, flooding and conflict disrupted Season A crops, which will likely result in a lower than normal harvest. In Malawi and northern Mozambique, cropping conditions are favorable. December and January rainfall in Lesotho led to an increase in area planted; however, it still remains below average.

    • Staple food prices continue to increase in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe. In Mozambique and Malawi, maize grain prices were 40 to 95 percent and 80 to 115 percent above the five-year average, respectively. In Zimbabwe, the macroeconomic challenges and market shortages of both maize grain and maize meal continue, triggering significant price increases. In Madagascar, prices of dried cassava started increasing in Ambovombe and Tulear II markets. Maize and local rice prices in Madagascar remain above average. In most parts of the region, besides in Zimbabwe, staple food prices are likely to remain above average through March, then marginally decrease in April as households start accessing own foods.

    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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