• Crisis Severity ?
    3.7
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
    2.6
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
    4.0
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    3.9
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
    1.0
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints

Key figures

  • 108,049,000 Total population [?]
  • 26,586,000 People affected [?]
  • 21,000 People displaced [?]

Overview

09/04/2020

Southern African countries of Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe are facing acute food security crises of varied magnitudes. Various climate shocks in the region are affecting around 14.4m people.? October to December 2019 were extremely dry, one of the 10 driest seasons in the region since 1981.? Food insecurity rates are reported to be 140% higher than 2018.? Zimbabwe has the highest number of severely food insecure people in the region and reports the country’s worst food insecurity in a decade. Half of its population (7.7m) are at risk of starvation and the country’s food crisis is aggravated by economic and infrastructural failures, low investment in the agricultural sector and inefficient land reforms.?  Drought has decimated Zambia’s staple maize production in the last five years.? 

Exacerbated by recurrent droughts, subsequent flooding in Madagascar, Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique has destroyed rice plains and increased the scarcity of grains in rural and urban communities. Rainfall forecasts are also at an all-time low which means that lean seasons will last longer than expected. People’s weak immune systems from malnutrition is further heightened in the area and raises concern of disease spread. About 15.7m people are living with HIV in the region?, with inadequate access to healthcare and recommended drugs. A reliance on maize cultivation as a mono-cropping agricultural system is likely to expose farmers in the region to higher risk of poverty if planted maize becomes damaged by pests or locust outbreak.

Latest Developments

09/09/2020

09/09/2020: Locusts are threatening food security and livelihoods of 7 million people in Southern Africa (Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe). Local outbreaks have surged in the region since May 2020. The region is already facing the impacts of drought and the COVID-19 pandemic on food security. The situation in Zimbabwe is of particular concern, with 30% of the population (especially in rural areas) acutely food insecure. 4.3 million people are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse levels of food insecurity. To prevent the spreading of swarms and support the efforts of the governments of the four affected countries, FAO launched on 7 September a response and preparedness project in collaboration with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the International Red Locust Control Organization for Central and Southern Africa (IRLCO-CSA). The project will focus on emergency response and foster coordination between the actors.?

ACAPS' team is daily monitoring the impact of COVID-19. Find more information related to the outbreak here.