Most households in the region continue to consume staple foods from the previous harvest, while supplementing this with market purchases and will continue to experience Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes between January and June. However, flood-affected households in central and southern Malawi will likely be Stressed and in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) between January and June. Additionally, localized parts of Lesotho, Angola and, Madagascar will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through March, but these outcomes are likely to improve to Minimal (IPC Phase 1) when the harvests begin between April and June.
From early to mid-January, most parts of the region received heavy rains causing extensive flooding across several areas including parts of southern Malawi, northern Mozambique, and Madagascar and affecting over a million people, including more than 500,000 people displaced from their homes. Destruction of cropped land by these floods will significantly reduce crop production in some of the affected areas and will likely result in significant food gaps during the 2015/16 consumption year.
Crop development across the region is mixed. In the northeastern parts of the region crop conditions are good. However, according to the Water Requirement Satisfaction Index (WRSI) the southern parts of the region, including western Angola and Botswana, southern Mozambique and Zimbabwe, Namibia, and central and northern South Africa, crops are showing signs of moisture stress due to mid-season dry spells.
Given the late start of the season, continued rainfall into April will provide favorable conditions for crop maturity. According to the January SARCOF update, there are enhanced chances of normal to above-normal rainfall between February and April. Below-normal rainfall in southwestern Angola and Botswana, Namibia, and northern and central South Africa may likely reduce crop yields.