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Southern Africa: Weekly Update (4 - 31 May 2017)

Regional Overview

The April 2017 harvest is expected to be above-average, with Tanzania, parts of Madagascar and northern Mozambique the exceptions. A good agricultural season is critical after two consecutive droughts led to unprecedented levels of food insecurity. Countries in the region continue to battle several hazards with potentially detrimental effects on food security, including an armyworm outbreak.

Over 20,000 refugees have reportedly fled insecurity, violence and militia attacks in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Kasai Province, seeking refuge in Angola. About 70 per cent of the arrivals are women and children. UNHCR and UNICEF in coordination with the Angolan Government and other aid agencies are responding to a rising number of unaccompanied, separated children who require immediate attention. UNHCR continues to provide food and non-food relief items to new arrivals. Other agencies (UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA, WFP, FAO, WHO, IOM) are responding to sector needs.

All schools on the islands of Zanzibar were temporarily closed earlier this month due to flooding, following weeks of heavy rains. The rains have also destroyed property and roads.

The Food Security Cluster has reached approximately 5.3 million people (79 per cent of the planned 6.7 million people) with lifesaving food and cash-based assistance across 24 districts. WFP’s food price monitoring shows that at the end of February 2017 maize prices were declining across all the 25 monitored districts compared to previous weeks (from 270 MWK/kg in January to 250 MWK/kg) and were 20 per cent lower than the same time last year.

By late March the number of people affected by Tropical Cyclone Enawo stabilised at 434,000. Those who were displaced to temporary shelters have returned home or to their relatives. The economic losses are estimated to be $400 million, corresponding to about 4 per cent of annual GDP, according to an assessment conducted by the CPGU (Cellule de Prevention et de Gestion des Urgences) and the World Bank. The agriculture sector alone recorded losses of $207 million. To date, the Enawo Flash Appeal, budgeted at $18.9 million, is 55 per cent funded (with $10.5 million received). This includes a CERF allocation of $5 million.

Flood and cyclones earlier in the year have affected 66,616 ha, representing 1.2 per cent of the total area planted, with 61,113 farmers affected. There have also been delays in rainfall in rice-growing areas, which may result in a 30 per cent to 40 per cent production decrease. As at 24 April, 21 per cent of the amount required to respond to the effects of Tropical Cyclone Dineo (which hit mid-February 2017) has been mobilised ($2.2 million against a requirement of $10.2 million).

Operation(s)/ Webspace(s): 
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Original Publication Date: 
31 May 2017
Map/Infographic Type: 
Humanitarian Update
Tanzania, United Republic of
Food/Nutrition Crisis
Inter-Cluster Coordination
Natural Disasters
Refugees and Returnees
Coordination hub(s): 
Southern and Eastern Africa Office