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Below average harvest expected to drive continued Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in areas of the region

  • Key Message Update
  • Southern Africa
  • May 2022
Below average harvest expected to drive continued Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in areas of the region

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • The start of the main harvest is improving food availability and access across much of the region. Improvements in food security have been observed in northern Malawi, northern surplus-producing areas of Zimbabwe, non-conflict affected northern areas of Mozambique, northern and central Madagascar, and northern DRC, where Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes are ongoing. Although areas affected by poor rainfall, cyclones, and conflict are likely to face food deficits even in the post-harvest period, with Stressed (IPC Phase 20 and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes expected through at least September. These areas include southern Madagascar, southern and central Mozambique, southern parts of Malawi, extreme southern areas of Zimbabwe, and conflict-affected DRC and northern Mozambique. 

    • Macroeconomic challenges and inflation drive increases in food and fuel prices, predominately in Zimbabwe, DRC, and Malawi. In these countries, the minimum expenditure baskets are increasing and causing food access challenges mainly for low-income households in urban areas and poor households in rural areas. The situation has been further impacted by the disruption of global supply chains due to the Ukraine Crisis. In Zimbabwe, parallel market exchange rates have significantly increased, leading to a surge in the cost of food. In Zimbabwe, maize meal and bread prices in ZWL terms increased by approximately 50 and 30 percent, respectively, between March and April. 

    • Conflict remains a significant driver of food insecurity in DRC and Cabo Delgado, Mozambique. Since March, DRC has seen a resurgence of conflict in Rutshuru, which has affected Season B cropping. The same rebel group was recently reported to be advancing towards Goma town. Other areas in DRC where conflict continue to cause displacement and significant levels of food insecurity include North and South Kivu, Kassai, Ituri, and Tanganyika. In Mozambique, the conflict in Cabo Delgado threatens livelihood activities, causing households to rely mainly on humanitarian assistance and markets. Due to limited resources, WFP is distributing half rations equivalent to 39 percent of a 2100 kilocalorie diet in April and May to around 850,000 people in Cabo Delgado and 74,000 in Nampula and Niassa provinces.

      • Staple food prices showed mixed trends across the region in March. In Mozambique, March maize grain prices in Tete, Maputo, and Mutarara decreased following the start of the harvest. In Madagascar, local rice and sweet potato prices in Antananarivo declined on both monthly and annual bases in March due to improved market availability. On the contrary, in Manica, Mozambique, maize prices increased by 15 percent due to delays in the harvest. Relatedly, in Madagascar, maize, dried cassava, and imported rice prices rose in March, with year-on-year changes of 7, 16, and 27 percent, respectively. In Malawi, current maize prices range from 160 to 180 MWK per kilogram at a time prices typically trend below 100 MWK per kilogram. 

    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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