The onset of the seasonal rains is late in northeastern South Africa and neighboring Lesotho, southern parts of Angola, Swaziland, and in western areas of Zambia. For most countries in the region, seasonal rains typically begin in November. National and International forecasts predict low rainfall during the October to December period, which could lead to an erratic or delayed start to rainfall. The ongoing El Niño is forecast to continue until mid-2016, increasing regional concerns that several countries will experience below-average rainfall during the season.
Poor households in maize deficit areas are well into the lean period and have been relying on market purchases for an extended period this season. Staple food prices in several countries continue to increase, reducing poor household purchasing power. Humanitarian assistance began in parts of Zimbabwe, but has not started in Malawi. Informal trade flows between Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa are strong.
Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity outcomes are currently taking place in Malawi, Zimbabwe, and Madagascar. Poor households in cereal deficit areas have depleted their own food production stocks and are facing limited labor opportunities. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected to continue in these countries through March 2016 in the absence of humanitarian assistance. Some areas in Zimbabwe will improve slightly and will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) in the presence of humanitarian assistance.
The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on some 35 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, and USGS, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica. Read more about our work.