Key Message Update

Acute food insecurity outcomes expected to worsen due to limited humanitarian coverage

December 2016

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
National Parks/Reserves
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

Key Messages

  • November marks the normal start of the lean season in most of the region, but most countries experienced an earlier than normal start to the lean season this year because of the impact of the El Niño-drought in late 2015 and early 2016. Poor households in the most affected parts of the region including areas in Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe continue facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity outcomes with increasing areas likely falling into Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes during the peak period (Jan-Mar 2017) in the absence of adequate humanitarian assistance.  

  • Across the region, heavy rains have been received and the official start of the season has occurred in most countries. Planting has begun in some areas, but poor households access to inputs is assumed to be a limitation since most drought affected households do not have adequate cash to cover seeds and fertilizer needs. Households have already started engaging in agricultural related income earning activities, but wages are expected to be lower due to increased competition for casual labor among households that need to earn income for food purchases. In some parts of the region, high rainfalls have often resulted in high levels of leaching which could potentially lead to poor crop conditions and lower yields. 

  • During a typical lean season, prices of staples increase, but prices in countries including Malawi and Mozambique are significantly well above-average due to the impact of the El Niño-induced drought. For most affected parts of Mozambique and Malawi, staples prices have remained consistently above 150 percent of both last year and the five-year average and this trend will likely continue , possibly increasing more, as the peak lean season progresses. 

About FEWS NET

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 34 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, and USGS, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica. Read more about our work.