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Tropical storm Filipo and heavy rains worsen the impacts of El Niño in the central and southern regions

  • Key Message Update
  • Mozambique
  • March 2024
Tropical storm Filipo and heavy rains worsen the impacts of El Niño in the central and southern regions

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Conflict, El Niño-induced drought, the impact on the current agricultural season of heavy rainfall, flooding, and strong winds due to the recent Tropical Storm Filipo, and the cumulative effects of multiple shocks in recent years, including Tropical Cyclone Freddy last year, are driving Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity outcomes in March. The most-affected households have lost their homes, food reserves, field crops, and access to their typical livelihoods and income sources, requiring emergency humanitarian assistance to meet their minimum food needs and to recover. 
    • In mid-March 2024, severe Tropical Storm Filipo hit Mozambique with maximum winds exceeding 90 kilometers per hour, gusts exceeding 120 kilometers per hour, and heavy rainfall reaching 150 millimeters in 24 hours. The storm mostly affected Sofala, Inhambane, Gaza, and Maputo provinces. Ten days later, the southern zone, particularly the province and city of Maputo, was affected by torrential rains that caused flooding in urban and peri-urban areas. The damage is still being assessed. According to the National Institute for Disaster Risk Management and Reduction (INGD), the various shocks from the beginning of the ongoing rainy season until March 25, 2024 (excluding the conflict in Cabo Delgado), have affected more than 130,000 people, causing the death of 135 people, totally or partially destroying 7,000 homes, and affecting 89 health units, 468 schools, and 31,000 hectares of various crops, of which around 20 percent were completely lost. The shocks also damaged more than 700 kilometers of roads, in addition to destroying bridges, aqueducts, power poles, and other infrastructure. 
    • A number of transit/accommodation centers have been established to shelter affected families in the provinces of Maputo, Maputo City, and parts of Gaza provinces. According to authorities, humanitarian assistance, although not sufficient, is provided to those in need through INGD and partners. In addition to food, the greatest needs include shelter and non-food items, water purification, hygiene kits, and environmental sanitation. Furthermore, infrastructure reconstruction and rehabilitation needs are growing. A positive aspect of the heavy rainfall is that it improved water availability for the post-flood and second agricultural season and for human/animal consumption, as well as improving the availability of pasture in the short and medium term. Therefore, households with access to short-cycle or vegetable seeds will likely engage in post-flood and second-season planting, with harvests possible from July onward. However, most poor households affected by the shocks are unlikely to recover harvests from the ongoing 2023/2024 season and will remain dependent on the market, for those with purchasing power, or humanitarian aid until the next main harvest in 2025.
    • In February 2024, average maize grain prices rose by 12 percent, a typical increase at this time of the year. Average maize grain prices in February were 24 percent above last year's level and 20 percent above the five-year average. The high prices this year result from the cumulative negative impacts of multiple shocks in the last five years. Rice and maize meal prices remained relatively stable from January to February, but on average were 7 percent above last year's level and nearly 20 percent above the five-year average. The annual inflation rate in Mozambique fell for the fourth month to 4 percent in February 2024, the lowest since December 2020. Prices slowed across most consumer price index categories, including food and non-alcoholic beverages, education, transportation, clothing and footwear, and health. On a monthly basis, consumer prices were up by nearly 0.5 percent in February, after a 1 percent rise in the preceding month.

    Recommended citation: FEWS NET. Mozambique Key Message Update March 2024: Tropical storm Filipo and heavy rains worsen the impacts of El Niño in the central and southern regions, 2024.

    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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