Southern Africa - El Niño Response Plan 2016/17 (Short version)

Southern Africa - El Niño Response Plan 2016/17 (Short version)
Jul 2016

In Southern Africa, the effects of the 2015/16 El Niño event continue to devastate the lives and livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers, pastoralists and agropastoralists. Two, and in some cases three, consecutive seasons of drought and poor harvests have particularly hit vulnerable families, as prices of staple foods have risen and their own production fallen. Lack of water and pasture has also severely constrained livestock production. Almost 40 million people are expected to face food insecurity by the peak of the coming lean season (late 2016/early 2017).

A combination of approaches is required to ensure vulnerable families can rapidly improve their food security and build more resilient agricultural livelihoods. As the planting season nears, it is critical that farmers can access the seeds, tools, fertilizers,
chemicals and services they need to ensure a better crop next year. Without support now, they face another year of crop failures and will require humanitarian assistance through 2017 and into 2018.

If farmers receive timely support, consumption of the green harvest can help to mitigate the current precarious food security situation. At the same time, investments must be made now in rebuilding livelihoods. For example, by promoting community-level production of drought-tolerant seed and fodder, along with climate-smart agricultural technologies like conservation agriculture, to enable families to weather future shocks. Partnerships are critical to building resilience and tackling food insecurity. FAO is working closely with the Southern African Development Community, as well as with the World Food Programme and other UN agencies within the framework of the Regional Interagency Standing Committee.

Read the full version of the Southern Africa - El Niño Response Plan 2016/17.