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Minimal food insecurity outcomes to continue in most parts of the country

  • Key Message Update
  • Zambia
  • July 2016
Minimal food insecurity outcomes to continue in most parts of the country

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity outcomes will continue from July to January for most parts of the country due to increased household food supplies from the recent harvest. However, Shangombo, Sioma, Sesheke, Mwandi, Kazungula, Sinazongwe, Gwembe, Siavonga, Luangwa and Mambwe districts in south-western, southern and south-eastern Zambia will have Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity outcomes during this period due to reduced own staple food stocks due to prolonged dry spells earlier this year. As a result, some poor households have already run out of own produced stocks and are relying on the market for staple food purchases much earlier than when they would normally start in September, and households have limited incomes from non-agricultural labor activities (selling of fish, small livestock, wild foods, vegetables, and charcoal). It is expected that in August, 257,592 of the affected population will start to receive food assistance to protect their livelihoods, as recommended by the Zambia Vulnerability Assessment Committee’s (VAC) May results. The assistance will be provided through the government’s Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) from available Food Reserve Agency maize stocks.

    • The FRA plans to purchase 1 million MT of maize for the strategic reserve and for price stabilization sales during the 2016/17 lean period. Maize purchasing commenced in mid-July but reports indicated that the FRA is facing challenges in buying enough maize due to stiff competition from private traders that are offering higher buying prices of up to ZMW 2.40/kg. Retail maize prices in June in most markets reduced typically but are expected start to increase by August, which is earlier than when prices normally rise in October. Prices will remain above the recent five-year average due to increased cost of production and the high demand. Maize meal prices are also likely to increase by August as well due to the high maize buying price. Livestock prices are expected to remain within average levels, but will start to decline in October as more households need to sell in order to raise income for food purchases. In June the Consumer price index (CPI) continued at 21 percent as prices for non-staple foods, and non-food items continue to be high, reducing household purchasing power.

    • Formal maize exports in May were down by 4 percent since April, with 90 percent destined to Zimbabwe. These exports are from the 2015/16 exportable surplus that is still being allowed. Per a government directive exports of maize supplies from the 2015/16 crop will only be allowed after September in order to allow FRA purchases. However, regional demand for Zambian maize from the neighboring countries remains very high due to the large cereal deficits as a result of drought conditions experienced last season. Reports from the Eastern province indicate an increased informal outflow of maize (approx. 576 MT of maize and 102 MT of maize meal) to Malawi in June. Security by the Zambian government continues to patrol in order to curb smuggling, however some traders have been using unusual routes to get by security. 

    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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