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Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes prevail throughout Mozambique for most poor households supported by the recently harvested crops from the 2021/22 agricultural season. However, in drought-affected areas of southern and central Mozambique, a poor harvest, depleted food reserves, and limited income-generating opportunities will likely result in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes. In Nampula province, areas affected by storms/cyclones earlier in the year are likely in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) due to the loss of harvests and livelihood assets. In Cabo Delgado, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity outcomes persist, driven by the ongoing conflict. Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes will prevail in areas with the regular distribution of humanitarian food assistance.
In May, Food Security Cluster (FSC) partners provided humanitarian food assistance to around 374,000 beneficiaries in Cabo Delgado and Niassa, following the distribution to about 650,000 beneficiaries in April, assisting around 1,025,000 people over the two months. Due to limited resources, WFP is distributing half rations equivalent to 39 percent of a 2100 kilocalorie diet to around 850,000 people in Cabo Delgado and 74,000 in Nampula and Niassa, with the remainder of beneficiaries supported by other members of the FSC Cluster. Approximately 26 percent of the HFA was provided as in-kind assistance, 67 percent via vouchers, and 7 percent via Immediate Response Rations (IRRs). WFP is warning that there is a potential pipeline break in October if additional funding is not secured soon. Targeted humanitarian assistance is also taking place in Zambezia and Nampula provinces in areas affected by Cyclone Gombe, with WFP assisting around 97,000 people in May.
In May, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) year-on-year inflation rose to 9.3 percent, the highest since September 2017. The biggest contributors to the monthly inflation rate were food and non-alcoholic beverages (3.4 percent month-on-month) and transport (1.1 percent month-on-month). According to Mozambique’s National Institute of Statistics (INE), price increases in wheat, petrol, diesel, cooking oil, and bar soap are contributing the most to the monthly inflation rate. Following the increase in fuel prices, bread prices increased by 20 percent and transportation prices increased by 50 percent along certain routes The rising costs are likely to reduce household purchasing power, particularly in urban areas where households are more market dependent.
The delayed harvests are ongoing across Mozambique, particularly in high production areas such as the plateaus of Tete, Zambézia, Manica, and Sofala, the interior of Nampula and western Cabo Delgado, and Niassa province. While official production estimates are not yet available, a near-average national production is likely following a rapid food security assessment in mid-May 2022, along with ongoing investments in agricultural production such as the government’s SUSTENTA program. Additionally, remote sensing products, such as the water requirement satisfaction Index (WRSI), indicate that as of May 30, crop production is likely to be average to good, except in areas affected by poor climate shocks (poor rainfall, storms/cyclone, flooding) and conflict.
Most rural households face Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes, supported by their recently harvested crops from the 2021/22 agricultural season. However, in drought-affected areas of southern and central Mozambique, a poor harvest, depletion of food reserves, and limited income-generating opportunities are resulting in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes. In Nampula province, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are likely to emerge in the areas most affected by the storms/cyclone earlier in the year, following a poor harvest, limited income-earning opportunities, and a reduction in the ability for mutual help among households. In Cabo Delgado, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes persist, mainly driven by conflict since late 2017 and exacerbated by recent attacks in areas previously considered safe, such as the Ancuabe district. However, the regular distribution of humanitarian food assistance (HFA) in some areas of Cabo Delgado supports Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes.
Harvests are ongoing throughout Mozambique, particularly in high production areas such as the plateaus of Tete, Zambézia, Manica and Sofala, the interior of Nampula and Cabo Delgado, and Niassa. However, poor to failed crop production is likely in much of southern Mozambique following the extended dry spell in February (Figure 1). In the central region, below average and irregular rainfall distribution also resulted in crop failure and/or reduced crop yields in the southern Manica and Sofala provinces. In these drought-affected areas, very poor and poor households are likely to have insufficient income for market food purchases and cannot meet their minimum food needs. As a result, these households are prematurely beginning to intensify their typical coping strategies, including selling more animals than usual, spending their savings, borrowing money or food, engaging in the production and sale of charcoal, or reducing spending on non-food items to buy food, resulting in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes. However, the most vulnerable poorest households, who have few or no livestock, little to no capacity to produce charcoal, and are unable to borrow, are likely already facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes and are engaging in consumption-based coping strategies such as skipping meals, reducing meal sizes, consuming less preferred food varieties, and increasing the consumption of wild foods to minimize food consumption gaps.
While official production estimates are currently unavailable, estimates through the WRSI, indicate that nationally, the water satisfaction index for maize is 10 percent below the five-year average for Mozambique. However, national production is likely to be near average, supported by ongoing agricultural investments such as the SUSTENTA program, particularly in the high production areas. Additionally, late rains in April improved residual soil moisture, supporting second season production of crops and vegetables in central and southern Mozambique. The second season harvest is likely to be close to average, as most households in the country likely have access to seeds, while the distribution of seeds by NGOs is likely ongoing in post-cyclone affected areas.
In the semi-arid zone of southern Tete Province, Guro and Tambara districts in northern Manica Province, and parts of central Sofala province, main season crops were also affected by prolonged dry spells, irregular rainfall distribution, and abnormally high temperatures. As a result, most poor households have already exhausted their own food stocks and are dependent on market purchases much earlier than usual, driving Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes. The poorest households are likely to continue expanding their livelihood coping strategies, such as consuming less preferred foods, engaging in the production and sale of charcoal in more remote markets, selling more animals than usual, spending savings if available, and purchasing food on credit or borrowing food to meet their basic food needs.
In Cabo Delgado, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes persist due to ongoing conflict displacing households and disrupting access to income and food. From June 1-14, attacks by the insurgents across eastern Cabo Delgado, including previously conflict-free areas of Ancuabe and Chiúre districts displaced over 23,000 people according to IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix. Before May, the insurgents frequently carried out small-scale attacks primarily in Macomia, Mueda, Nangade, and Meluco, with small insurgent cells seeking to loot food and supplies from unguarded places. Most IDPs remain dependent on emergency humanitarian assistance to fill food consumption gaps. Some IDPs living in the resettlement/accommodation centers also earn income from selling gifts/aid, and from limited skilled and casual work opportunities. If displaced households can earn income, most are spending it to purchase food. In areas where humanitarian food assistance (HFA) is regular and supports at least one in five households with 25 percent of food needs, Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes are present.
In Nampula’s coastal and intermediate areas severely affected by tropical cyclone Gombe and two tropical storms, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are likely emerging among the poorest households as household food stocks diminish. The poorest households also have limited access to income for market purchases to fill food consumption gaps due to the loss of livelihood assets and limited job opportunities as the area recovers. In Ilha de Moçambique, Mogincual, and Mossuril districts, food access is also deteriorating after many poor households lost their homes, food reserves, and the assets typically used to earn income and access food.
In mid-to-late April 2022, the FAO, in collaboration with provincial and district government institutions at provincial and district levels and the FSC conducted a field assessment in Nampula, Zambezia, and Sofala following cyclone Gombe. Findings from the Post Cyclone Gombe Mozambique report indicate that the cyclone resulted in widespread flooding, loss of crops in the field, and the loss of livestock and grain storage facilities. In Nampula and Sofala districts, households reported on average having one to seven months of food reserves; however, the percentage of households reporting to have food reserves in each district ranged from 0 to 70 percent. To help households recover from Cyclone Gombe, FAO is advocating for the continuation of food assistance along with the provision and repair of fishing gear and boats, and short-cycle seeds and other agricultural inputs for the second season and upcoming 2022/2023 cropping season to enable households to recover quickly.
Maize grain prices are starting to decline in most markets with the start of the delayed harvest. From April to May 2022, maize grain prices declined by 3-21 percent in most monitored markets, while in the markets of Lichinga and Mocuba the price of maize grain remains relatively stable after declining by 5-7 percent last month. The delay in seasonal market price reductions is driven by the delayed harvests and below-average availability of maize grains in some areas due to the impact of shocks, such as storms/cyclones, floods and droughts. Compared to last year, maize grain prices had a mixed trend. In May 2022, prices were 16-45 percent below last year's in Maputo, Manica, Angónia, Mocuba, and Lichinga markets, 7-24 percent above last year's in Chókwe, Massinga, and Mutarara markets, and at the same level in all other markets.
Similarly, maize grain prices had a mixed trend compared to the five-year average. May 2022 prices were 6-55 percent above the five-year average in Maputo, Chókwe, Maxixe, Quelimane, Massinga, Mutarara and Montepuez, 6-15 percent below the five-year average in Manica, Angónia, and Lichinga, and stable in Mocuba. Maize meal and rice prices were stable from April to May 2022 in most monitored markets. However, in Chókwe, the price of maize meal declined by 25 percent, and the price of rice increased by 6 percent and 27 percent in Lichinga and Inhambane after declining by 9 percent and 21 percent, respectively, in the previous month. Local dynamics of demand and supply are likely driving these monthly fluctuations in the price of maize meal and rice. Both maize meal and rice prices had a mixed trend when compared to last year's prices and the five-year average. For example, maize meal prices were 9-18 percent above prices last year in Chókwe, Pemba, Angónia, and Lichinga, 6-10 percent below last year’s prices in Maxixe, Massinga, Mocuba and stable in all other monitored markets. Compared to the five-year average, maize meal prices were 7 percent and 25 percent above the five-year average in Inhambane and Lichinga, respectively, and had a stable trend in all other markets.
According to the National Statistics Institute (INE), monthly inflation increased by 1 percent between April and May 2022, mostly driven by increasing prices in wheat bread (15.6 percent), gasoline (2.1 percent), cooking oil (3.7 percent), soap bars (5.2 percent), tomatoes (1.2 percent), fresh fish (1.4 percent), and diesel (2.9 percent). In May, year-on-year inflation was 9.31 percent with Transport and Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages increasing by 13.65 percent and 13.51 percent, respectively. The continuous increases in the cost of basic products are reducing household purchasing power, particularly for the poorest households in urban and peri-urban areas. As a result, many households are readjusting their expenditures to account for the price increases. The rise in inflation is partly being driven by the high global oil and fuel prices, along with the global supply chain disruptions related to the Russia-Ukraine war and the COVID-19 pandemic. These global supply chain tensions may be exacerbated by the tropical storms/cyclones that hit central and northern Mozambique earlier this year, and the ongoing war in Cabo Delgado. According to Oxford Economics, Mozambican motorists are paying 33 percent more for petroleum than 12 months ago. The government has ruled out the possibility of increasing subsidies to fuel stations and bakeries, although new ways of alleviating the cost of living for the most vulnerable households is being determined.
In May, FSC partners assisted around 374,000 beneficiaries in Cabo Delgado and Niassa, following assistance distribution to about 650,000 beneficiaries in April. Due to limited resources, WFP is distributing a full ration each month that is expected to last two months, resulting in monthly half rations equivalent to 39 percent of a 2100 kilocalorie diet. WFP is providing HFA to about 850,000 people in Cabo Delgado and 74,000 people in Nampula and Niassa. Other FSC members are providing assistance to the remaining beneficiaries. Additionally, WFP assisted around 33,400 beneficiaries in the Nangade district in northern Cabo Delgado, the highest number of beneficiaries since resuming distributions in this district in February. In May, approximately 26 percent of the HFA was in-kind assistance, 67 percent as vouchers, and 7 percent as Immediate Response Rations (IRRs), which target populations on the move or in hard-to-reach areas. However, WFP is warning that there is a potential pipeline break in October, even with a continuation with half rations, if additional funding is not secured soon. WFP expects to move towards prioritized targeting of the most vulnerable populations, including IDPs and host communities, once the Vulnerability Based Targeting exercise is finalized in the last quarter of 2022. Humanitarian partners also engaged in livelihood interventions for approximately 65,000 people, primarily IDPs in resettlement sites and host communities. Targeted humanitarian assistance is also taking place in areas affected by Cyclone Gombe and related floods, where WFP assisted around 97,000 people in May in the provinces of Zambezia and Nampula. Humanitarian needs are expected to remain high in conflict, flood, and drought-affected areas.
The June 2022 to January 2023 most likely scenario is based on the following national-level assumptions:
- Based on forecast model confidence at long leads, above-average rainfall is most likely across the southern half of Southern Africa between October 2022 and January 2023 due to the forecast La Nina conditions, while below average rainfall is most likely in some northern and northeastern parts of the region. A normal start to the season is expected. There is an average probability of floods and/or cyclones occurring during the scenario period.
- The national water supply is expected to be average to above average, driven by the recharge from the 2021/22 season and the expected average rainfall in 2022/23. As a result, there is an increased likelihood of river overflows and increased dam discharges that result in downstream flooding and the destruction of farms along the main rivers.
- Nationally, maize grain market availability is likely to be near average for the 2022/2023 consumption year supported by the 2022 main harvest, carryover stocks from 2021, and the second season crop production. However, in the semi-arid areas affected by drought in the south and center, the areas severely affected by tropical storms and tropical cyclones, mainly the coastal part of Nampula, and the areas affected by the conflict, household access to maize grain will be below average due to high prices.
- The internal flow of food commodities to the main consumption markets is likely to occur at normal levels for the main staple foods, including maize grain, moving from traditional high production areas to deficit areas. Following the harvest, trade flows to the southern semi-arid areas and the coastal regons of Nampula are likely to be above average to fill market demand.
- Cross border trade with Malawi, Zimbabwe and South Africa is likely to remain close to average. Informal and formal maize exports to Malawi will continue. Similarly, the trade of food and nonfood items with Zimbabwe will be normal. The demand for South African processed foods and some agricultures products will remain high in urban and peri-urban areas of Mozambique.
- Following the end of the State of Public Calamity and the lifting of most COVID-19 restrictions, many poor families are increasing their engagement in petty-trade and casual labor opportunities for income. However, increases in fuel, transport, and bread prices following the start of the conflict in Ukraine are limiting household purchasing power, particularly in the urban and peri urban areas where reliance on transportation and bread as a staple food are high. With reduced purchasing power, many poor urban and peri-urban families will likely increase their consumption of cassava, sweet potato, and yams and opt for cheaper forms of transportation.
- From June to August, agricultural labor activities only occur in areas with a second season crop production. Agricultural labor opportunities are likely to gradually increase and remain close to average with the onset of the rainy season in October/November 2022. Nationally, agricultural wages are also likely to be close to average. However, in areas affected by drought, tropical storms/cyclones, and conflict, agricultural labor opportunities and wages will remain below average due to below-average household liquidity to pay laborers.
- Second season production through September is likely to be average to above average, driven by average to above-average rainfall in April and May 2022, improving residual soil moisture. As a result, the 2022/2023 main agricultural season is likely to be average, supported by the rainfall forecast.
- From June to September 2022, households typically engage in non-agricultural labor opportunities to earn income. In areas affected by shocks, households are likely to increase their reliance on petty trade and the sale of services for income. Increased competition will likely result in below normal income. From October 2022 until January 2013, rural households will likely enage in agricultural labor activities such as land preparation, planting, and weeding.
- Based on FEWS NET price projections, maize grain prices stabilize atypically through the projection period. Above-average prices in Maputo, Chókwe and other southern markets are likely due to the below-average availability of locally produced maize grain in the south and rising transportation and transaction costs from higher production areas. In most monitored markets, maize grain prices are likely to remain above the five-year average and either above, below, or similar to prices last year. As typical, maize meal and rice prices are likely to remain more stable than bulk grain prices; but short-term variations will drive localized supply and demand dynamics.
- Household food availability will remain close to average. However, in the southern semiarid areas, and shock-affected parts of central and northern regions household food stocks are expected to be significantly below average due to the poor harvest and/or crop failure during the 2021/2022 main agricultural season.
- The availability of wild foods is likely to be average throughout the country.
- Rangeland resources and livestock body conditions will remain average through the scenario period, driving close to average livestock prices. In drought-affected areas, favorable grazing and watering conditions are expected following average rainfall in April and May, reducing travel distances.
- From October 2022 to January 2023, as the new agricultural season starts, average rainfall will likely result in typical pest damage. However, dry spells may result in increased pest damage from fall armyworm (FAW), grasshoppers, stalk borer, leaf miner, and rodents.
- In Cabo Delgado, insurgents will continue to evade capture and launch attacks on poorly secured villages occasionally. The likelihood of high impact, high casualty attacks in urban centers will remain low amid the continued presence of counter-insurgency security forces. It is likely that the number of violent incidents carried out against civilian populations will continue to increase, likely reaching levels observed in 2021 during the dry months from May to October 2022.
- The return of IDPs to their origin is gradually happening, but most IDPs will remain in the relocation sites, temporary sites, or host community extensions. Due to limited crop production from the 2021/22 agricultural season and with basic livelihoods disrupted, the IDPs will remain dependent on emergency humanitarian assistance to fill gaps in food consumption.
- WFP will likely continue providing rations equivalent to 39 percent of daily kilocalories through September for the IDPs in northern Mozambique. However, WFP is warning that there is a potential pipeline break in October, even with a continuation with half rations, if additional funding is not secured soon. WFP expects to move towards prioritized targeting of the most vulnerable populations, including IDPs and host communities, once the Vulnerability Based Targeting exercise is finalized in the last quarter of 2022. For the drought-affected areas in the south, there are still no plans for humanitarian food assistance from the WFP.
From June to September, most poor households will continue to access food from their own production and will continue to experience None (IPC Phase 1) outcomes. However, in most areas in central Mozambique, despite accessing, delayed harvests and some second season and post-flood production, very poor households are likely to remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) as they typically are more vulnerable to acute food insecurity after successive shocks. However, in the inland areas of Gaza and Inhambane provinces and southern Manica and Sofala provinces, where main season production was severely affected by below-average rainfall and unusually high temperatures, poor households will intensify their typical livelihoods strategies. Still, the poorest households, who have few or no livestock and little to no capacity to produce charcoal, are likely to reduce spending on non-food items and adopt consumption-based coping strategies. These strategies include skipping meals, reducing the size of meals, consuming less preferred food varieties, and increasing the consumption of wild foods to minimize food consumption gaps. In July, household food security is likely to deteriorate as low or no food stocks, high market demand, and limited access to income results in the poorest households with limited resources engaging in more severe survival strategies. These strategies include withdrawing children from school- unless meals are provided- or sending family members to eat elsewhere. An increasing number of poor households will require emergency food assistance to avoid the depletion of essential livelihood assets, leading to area-level Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes well before the start of the lean season in October/November. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes will start emerging in the Ilha de Moçambique, Mogincual and Mossuril districts in Nampula province due to limited access to food, limited income-earning opportunities, and the weakening capacity of host communities to support the severely storm/cyclone and flood-affected households. The most affected poor households will be unable to recover food stocks through post-flood production due to a lack of seeds and limited labor opportunities for income. In Cabo Delgado, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes will prevail in conflict affected areas, driven by the spread of conflict to new areas by small groups of insurgents. Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) are expected in areas where humanitarian partners have access and food distribution is more regular.
From October 2022 to January 2023, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes will likely prevail in drought-affected areas as poor households will continue to experience deficits in food consumption due to increasingly challenging market access to food driven by higher-than-average food prices. The poorest households, without livestock to sell and without the ability to produce and sell charcoal, are likely to intensify their engagement in coping strategies indicative of Crisis (IPC Phase 3), such as reducing the amount of food or the number of meals, increasing their consumption of wild foods, sending one or more family members to relatives in other locations, and even migrating to places with more income-generating opportunities, including areas along the main corridors for the production and sale of charcoal. The start of the rains, typically in November, is likely to increase agricultural labor opportunities such as land preparation and planting. However, agricultural labor wages in drought affected areas are likely to be lower than typical due to lower payment power of middle and better-off households following below-normal crop sales from the 2021/22 season. In Nampula, the depletion of food reserves much earlier than usual and the reduction of the capacity for mutual support could result in more districts facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes, including Liúpo, Meconta, and Monapo. In addition, the lack of adequate response by humanitarian actors can result in increased demand for areas with greater employment opportunities, such as artisanal mines or urban. Rising Inflation-projected to continue to increase due to the impact of rising fuel and wheat prices internationally- will limit very poor household purchasing power, particularly in urban and peri-urban areas, forcing them to continue readjusting their expenses and reducing access to certain non-food items in favor of staple foods. In areas affected by conflict, continued displacement is likely to limit access to income-earning opportunities and the ability of households to engage in the agricultural season, driving Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes and keeping humanitarian assistance needs high.
Table 1. Possible events over the next eight months that could change the most-likely scenario.
|Area||Event||Impact on Food Security Outcomes|
|National||Moderate to severe flooding||Severe flooding in January 2023 would negatively affect poor households located in major river basins, particularly in the northern regions, but also along the coast, and the Lower Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. Depending on the magnitude of the flood, poor households will their lose maize, homes, food stocks, and assets. Impacted households will likely need humanitarian food assistance for at least three to four months until the post-flood crops are harvested in April/May 2023.|
|National||Delay in the start of the rains and the start of the agricultural season||A delayed start to the agricultural season will delay agricultural labor opportunities including land preparation, planting, and weeding. This would limit household access to income and reduce household purchasing power at a time when food prices typically increase due to increased demand.|
|Coastal areas||Cyclones and floods striking the coastal areas of Mozambique||The risk of cyclones and floods is through March 2023. Worst affected households will likely face food gaps until they recover through post-shock production beyond the scenario period.|
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Source: FEWS NET
Source: FEWS NET
Source: FEWS NET/USGS
Source: FEWS NET estimates based on MADER/SIMA data
To project food security outcomes, FEWS NET develops a set of assumptions about likely events, their effects, and the probable responses of various actors. FEWS NET analyzes these assumptions in the context of current conditions and local livelihoods to arrive at a most likely scenario for the coming eight months. Learn more here.