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Southern Africa El Niño-Induced Drought: RIASCO Action Plan Update No. 1

Key messages include:

  • While generous donor support has assisted humanitarian responders to reach millions of drought-affected people, significant funding shortages continue to impede the response. Only half of the funds for emergency food and agriculture assistance has been raised, while many other sectoral responses remain largely unfunded, including education (12 per cent funded); protection (18 per cent); water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) (18 per cent); and early recovery (26 per cent). With the regional drought declaration by the Southern African Development Community (SADC), all stakeholders are called on to scale up the response. 
  • The impact of the drought on all sectors is significant; and occurs against a backdrop of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the world. An estimated 12.3 million people have been targeted in the 7 most affected countries for humanitarian assistance; including 11.5 million people in health and nutrition, 5.4 million in WASH, 8.5 million in protection, and 2.5 million in education. 
  • There is an urgent need for seeds, as many farmers lost their stock in the drought. With the exclusion of Angola, for which no data is available, maize seed shortfall in countries covered by the RIASCO Action Plan stands at almost 30,000 tons. With normal to above-normal rain predicted, this could be a lost opportunity.
  • Resilience building remains a key factor in the response to help systems and communities to withstand better shocks and stresses. Many affected areas are experiencing their third year of poor rainfall. The current drought is a harbinger of climate change, which will bring more extreme weather events to the region, including droughts and floods.
Regional Inter-Agency Standing Committee
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Original Publication Date: 
14 Sep 2016
Document type: 
Humanitarian Assistance
Information Management
Natural Disasters