A recent Food Security Outlook Report released by FEWS Net forecasts that for November 2016 – May 2017, food security conditions throughout southern Africa will worsen for many poor households. Deteriorating food security will be driven partly by normal seasonal trends, as this period is the peak of the lean season in the region, and partly by the 2015-2016 El Niño cycle, which delayed or reduced harvests in many countries.
The 2015-2016 El Niño cycle has had devastating effects in many developing regions, including across much of Africa south of the Sahara. According to a new report from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, El Niño has affected 60 million people worldwide, and 23 countries have issued response plans costing upwards of US$ 5 billion in national funding and international aid.
Zimbabwe has been in the throes of an El Niño-induced drought for more than a year, placing as many as 4.5 million people in food insecurity throughout the country, according to a recent Reuters article . The prolonged poor weather conditions mean that the upcoming dry season – September and October – is likely to be worse than normal, placing even more pressure on already strained local water supplies.
FAO’s Global Information and Early Warning Systems (GIEWS) has released several new country briefs for Africa south of the Sahara. This series of briefs provides an overview of the food security situation in prioritized countries, focusing on the current agricultural season, harvest prospects for staple food crops and livestock, estimates and forecasts of cereal production, and food price and food policy trends.
A new report released by FEWS Net examines current food security conditions in Tanzania, finding that overall national food security prospects are favorable but local-level conditions remain mixed.