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Crisis (IPC Phase 3) persists in southern and central zones due to below-average harvests

  • Key Message Update
  • Mozambique
  • May 2024
Crisis (IPC Phase 3) persists in southern and central zones due to below-average harvests

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Despite the ongoing harvest, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are present in parts of the southern and central zones due to below-average production mostly caused by the impacts of drought and intense heat associated with El Niño. From June onward, more areas facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are likely to deteriorate to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) due to rapid depletion of limited food reserves and household income. This is forcing poorer households to increasingly engage in Crisis and Stressed coping strategies before the onset of the lean season to minimize food consumption gaps. In Cabo Delgado, Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) are present amid sporadic attacks, by Non-State Armed Groups (NSAG). However, most households in the rest of Mozambique are facing Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes as the ongoing harvest improves food access and availability.
    • Harvests from the main agricultural season are currently underway across the country, with expectations of below-average national cereal production due to drought. Unlike previous drought events, this time the highest production areas in the provinces of Tete, Zambézia, Sofala, and Manica have also been affected. Consequently, agricultural production is expected to decrease compared to last year and the five-year average. The second agricultural season is expected to progress typically in low-lying areas with sufficient residual moisture in the south and central regions, provided that households have access to the necessary seeds. However, conditions are unsuitable for a second season in many semi-arid and remote areas, where food insecurity is compounded by the lack of markets and reduced coping strategies other than consumption of wild foods.
    • An early May rapid food security assessment by FEWS NET in the southern semi-arid zone found that household granaries, which should be full of cereals, are atypically empty. With limited options, the poorest households cannot afford to buy food from markets, underlining the need for humanitarian assistance to prevent the nutritional deterioration. In April, Food Security Cluster (FSC) partners provided humanitarian food assistance covering around 40 percent of monthly kilocalorie needs to approximately 390,270 people. However, as of May, only 18 percent of the minimum resources needed for the humanitarian response plan have been secured by FSC partners. Additionally, 17,473 people received agricultural and livelihood support (inputs, livestock vaccination, fisheries and financial education training). Limited resources have raised concerns for areas affected by drought and already in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in both the southern and central zones, especially as these limited resources are mostly directed to the north due to escalating conflict and increasing needs.
    • Although prices typically decrease during the harvest period, maize grain prices remained stable in April in the southern region, including in Massinga (Inhambane province) and Maputo City (Maputo), likely due to below-average supplies. In central and northern areas, however, prices dropped due to the ongoing harvest. Specifically, in Mutarara, Tete province (central zone), the price of maize grain decreased by 36 percent, and in Montepuez, Cabo Delgado province (northern zone), the price decreased by 68 percent. Compared to the previous year, maize grain prices in April 2024 exhibited a mixed trend and were 14 to 26 percent higher than the five-year average, except in Montepuez, where maize grain prices were 65 percent below the five-year average due to the significant improvement in the security situation in Cabo Delgado. 

    Recommended citation: FEWS NET. Mozambique Key Message Update May 2024: Crisis (IPC Phase 3) persists in southern and central zones due to below-average harvests, 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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