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Atypically high food prices and limited 2019 harvest affects household food access

  • Key Message Update
  • Southern Africa
  • September 2019
Atypically high food prices and limited 2019 harvest affects household food access

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • The region continues to experience the impacts of the poor 2019 harvest with poor households in most parts of the region continuing to experience Crisis (IPC Phase 3). The most affected areas include; Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Lesotho. Currently, most households across the region have exhausted own production and are relying mainly on market purchases for food with atypically high maize grain prices. Similarly, these outcomes are present in conflict affected areas in DRC. Across the region there are no expectations of improvement through at least January 2020.

    • National and international forecasts indicate the possibility of below average rainfall for the first half of the season in southern parts of the region, which may result in a delayed onset. These forecasts indicate, central parts of the region are likely to receive near-normal rains from October through December, while northern areas may receive normal to below-normal rainfall. Cumulative rainfall for October to March 2020 is expected to be average to above average in northern parts of the region with some central and southern areas anticipated to receive below average rainfall.

    • Casual labor opportunities are expected to remain limited through at least January 2020. Currently poor households are earning incomes through activities including land preparation, brick molding, and selling of thatching grass. However, as better-off households who normally provide these opportunities have also been affected by drought, opportunities are limited. The possibility for a delayed and erratic start of the season in some areas is expected to delay normal agriculture labor opportunities and delay access to this income source.

    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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