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Drought has left more than a quarter of the country’s 15 million people lacking secure food supply, including some 600,000 people facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3), particularly in southern provinces. The planted area for all cereal crops has decreased by about 40 per cent from last year, which itself was 89 per cent below the five-year average. Crop and livestock production is expected to completely fail in some areas. Food availability through production in Zimbabwe is at its lowest in a decade – maize production has declined 50 per cent compared to last year and is currently 53 per cent more expensive. Pastoralists are also under stress, particularly in the south. Some 16,000 cattle have died since October 2015. The food security situation is expected to worsen during the last quarter of the 2015/16 consumption year, with the proportion of food insecure rural households doubling from the May 2015 projection of 16 per cent to 30 per cent, representing approximately 2.8 million people. An estimated 2.4 million people need assistance between January and March 2016 – one million more than initially estimated.