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Food security outcomes marginally improve with the harvest across the region

  • Key Message Update
  • Southern Africa
  • May 2019
Food security outcomes marginally improve with the harvest across the region

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Despite the start of the harvest; Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is present in areas of Mozambique, Zimbabwe, DRC, and Lesotho. Humanitarian assistance is mitigating outcomes to Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!)  and Crisis! (IPC Phase 3!) in parts of Mozambique and Zimbabwe, southern areas of Madagascar, and Kasia region of DRC. Food security outcomes are anticipated to improve temporarily with the harvest in areas of DRC, Madagascar, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is most likely. The rest of the region is anticipated to be in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Minimal (IPC Phase 1).

    • Tropical Cyclone Kenneth hit the northern coast of Mozambique on April 25 with sustained winds of 155 kilometers/hour or higher. Heavy rainfall and associated flooding affected over 375,000 people. Many poor households in the affected areas lost their livelihoods and harvest for the 2019/20 season due to flooding. Humanitarian response is ongoing in affected areas and many poor households are anticipated to need humanitarian assistance through the end of the 2019/20 consumption year. Impacts on food security outcomes due to Tropical Cyclone Kenneth and associated flooding will be updated in Mozambique’s country specific analysis.

    • Staple food prices typically decrease with the harvest as household start consuming own foods; however, maize grain prices in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Lesotho continue increasing. In Zimbabwe, this is the result of the deterioration of the macroeconomy and the poor harvest.  In areas of Mozambique and Zimbabwe affected by Tropical Cyclone Idai, staple food prices are expected to remain above average. Food prices in Lesotho, especially in Maseru market have been increasing since January due to the anticipated poor harvest in South Africa. Rice prices in Madagascar stabilized or decreased in April compared to March.

    • Conflict and economic challenges continue to drive acute food insecurity in DRC and Zimbabwe. In DRC, conflict continues to manifest differently across the country with some improvements in the security situation facilitating the return of some households in Kasai, South-Kivu, Tanganyika, and Maniema Provinces. However, in areas affected by Ebola, repeated attacks on treatment centers hampers efforts to bring the outbreak under control. In Zimbabwe, the volatile macroeconomic situation continues to deteriorate with increasing fuel prices, staple food prices, and foreign exchange shortages further weakening household access to food and other basic needs.

    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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