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More countries declare a state of disaster due to drought

  • Key Message Update
  • Southern Africa
  • February 2016
More countries declare a state of disaster due to drought

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Despite increased rainfall in southern parts of the region in January, most of the region continues to experience dryness into February, diminishing any hopes of crop recovery. The El Niño-induced drought is expected to result in below-average 2016 production in most of the region, including the top maize surplus-producing countries, South Africa and Zambia. 

    • The region is facing one of the worst peak lean season periods. Due to the poor start of the seasonal rains and lack of moisture, the start of the green harvest across most of the region has been delayed until mid-March. Green harvests normally improve food availability in February, but households in several countries will not have access to green foods due to the drought conditions.

    • Food access and availability will continue to be limited after the 2016 harvest in May/June due to complete crop failure in many areas, below-average labor availability, as well as higher than normal food prices. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity is expected in Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, and Zimbabwe during the outlook period. Beyond September, food insecurity is expected to deteriorate further across the region. Regional needs are expected to be well-above average this consumption year.

    • Food security assessments by several National Vulnerability Assessment Committees are still ongoing. The governments of Zimbabwe, Swaziland, and Lesotho have declared a state of disaster and are seeking assistance in order to meet the increasing food needs caused by the drought.

    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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