Race against time in drought ravaged Southern Africa

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).

With only a few weeks before land preparation begins for the next main cropping season, some 23 million people in Southern Africa urgently need support to produce enough food to feed themselves, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization. If assistance is secured now from donors this will curb the countries dependency on humanitarian assistance until mid-2018 says the agency.