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Currently, a few areas remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). Increased humanitarian assistance in most of the drought-affected southern region (Matebeleland Provinces, Masvingo, parts of Manicaland and Midlands Provinces) and marginal areas in the extreme north has resulted in Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) acute food security outcomes, in the presence of assistance. These outcomes are expected to last until December 2016. Most of the north is experiencing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes as own produced stocks decline and more poor households resort to market purchases. In the absence of food assistance, some areas in the north will transition into Crisis (IPC Phase 3) starting October 2016 through March 2017.
Local maize grain supplies are mostly available across the country, particularly in the northern region and a few localized areas in the south. However, supplies are declining in these areas due to the below average 2015-16 production. The national average maize grain price for August was 17 percent above the five-year average, though prices have stabilized as humanitarian assistance coverage increases. Maize meal is readily available in retail outlets across the country and prices are also stable and averaging $0.59/kg in FEWS NET sentinel markets. A high number of local millers and the Grain Marketing Board are supplying the markets with maize meal from both locally procured and imported grain.
Most parts of the country are experiencing below-average livelihood options and household incomes following a poor agricultural season and prevailing liquidity challenges. Common coping mechanisms for poor households include distress sale of assets and small livestock, labor migration, small scale informal mining, and petty trading. The water situation for humans and livestock is critical in the south, and this is expected to continue through November.
This Key Message Update provides a broad summary of FEWS NET's current and projected analysis of likely acute food insecurity outcomes in this geography. Learn more about our work here.