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Humanitarian assistance improves the food security situation in Malawi and Zimbabwe

  • Key Message Update
  • Southern Africa
  • October 2016
Humanitarian assistance improves the food security situation in Malawi and Zimbabwe

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Humanitarian assistance has  improved the food security situation in most drought-affected districts in Malawi and Zimbabwe and these areas are currently experiencing Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) food insecurity outcomes. During the peak of the lean season from January to March, most poor households across the region will experience significant food consumption gaps and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes in the absence of external assistance. Poor households that are expected to face substantial food consumption gaps in southern parts of Madagascar will experience Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes through the end of their lean season in February 2017.   

    • Off-season causal labor opportunities remains limited across the region. This includes activities like brick molding, building, grass thatching, and gardening that have been affected by limited water as a result of the 2015/16 El Niño-induced drought. Some agricultural labor for mainly land preparation is ongoing and expected to be at normal levels, however wages are expected to be below average since competition amongst households will be very high in order for households to earn income for staple purchases during the lean season. 

    • Maize prices continued to increase and are expected to remain above both the five-year average and the previous year in most countries, with the exception of Zimbabwe where prices have been largely stable.  Mozambique and Malawi prices are expected to be 150 percent above the five-year average and among the highest in the region, while for other countries prices are expected to trend around 50 percent above the five-year average.

    • Most countries in the region continue to expect improved rainfall for the 2016/17 season, and forecasts indicate a high chance of normal to above-normal rainfall in most countries The start of season in many FEWS NET presence countries is expected between October and November and will likely increase agricultural activities.  

    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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