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The 2015-16 lean season assistance will now end in some areas in April instead of March due to reduced livelihood options and the lack of green harvest as a result of the El Niño related dryness. In the typically marginal production areas in the south, (including Matabeleland, Masvingo, Midlands, and Manicaland Provinces) poor households are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) due to low levels of assistance. These outcomes will persist from March through September. During this same period, poor households in the surplus-producing northern areas will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) due to the limited availability of cereals expected from the main harvest in May. Immediate assistance is needed to protect livelihoods and reduce food consumption gaps.
Since early March, rainfall has increased and this has improved pasture conditions and water availability across the country, particularly in the south. This rainfall has helped growing conditions in areas where crop conditions are fair, but the majority of the drought-related crop damage is irreversible at this point in the season.
Local millers are meeting market demand for maize meal and private traders continue to play an important role in the importation of grain. In order to fill the anticipated above average cereal deficit for the 2016-17 year, the government has set up a logistics task-force in order to facilitate the importation of maize from international markets. There are reports of recent grain purchases from the Ukraine and Zambia.
For more detailed analysis, see the Food Security Outlook/Remote Monitoring Update for February – September 2016.
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.