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Mozambique: Drought - Office of the Resident Coordinator, Situation Report No. 5 (As of 26 August 2016)

UNCT Mozambique
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  • Up to 1,477,787 people will be reached in the coming months with food assistance;

  • The funding received/confirmed so far will only cover 38.2% of the total needs estimated in the SRP;

  • The most funded sector is the food security with US$ 67.1 million;

  • The maize grain prices remain well above the 5-year average by 177 percent in average and above last year prices by 136 percent in average;

  • There are 2,152 IDPs due to drought and political military tension in Manica province, central Mozambique;

  • Poor households in drought affected areas continue facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity;

Situation Overview

The National Institute for Meteorology (INAM) has been updating the disaster coordination team in the country about the El Niño status which weakened significantly in the period of June to July 2016. During this period, the neutral signal (rainfall according to the climatology) has been strengthened and there is a likelihood (50 - 60% for the period of September 2016 to March 2017) of La Niña in the coming months. La Niña is historically linked to normal to abovenormal rainfall in southern and central Mozambique.

Although the current El Niño status is weak its impacts on food security, nutrition and water are still affecting thousands of people in the south and central region of the country. The Fews Net update1 (July 2016) reports that in the El Niño drought-affected areas in the South and parts of the Central region, poor households continue facingCrisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity, with a smaller proportion facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2), due to the increasing difficulty meeting their basic food needs because of inadequate supplies and high staple food prices.

According to the Mozambique price bulletin of August 2016 by Fews Net, in average, from June to July, maize grain prices have increased by 11 percent against the 14 percent of the previous month. Overall, maize grain prices remain well above the 5-year average by 177 percent in average and above last year prices by 136 percent in average. In terms of food stocks, there is an indication that in much of the South region, the poorest households have completely exhausted their food reserves while most did not even harvest at all. The majority of households in drought-affected areas continue to rely on market purchases2.

As the main agricultural season ended in April/May 2016, there was a need to know about the food security and nutrition situation in the country. To this end, SETSAN conducted a food security and nutrition assessment during July 2016 in the all 11 provinces. The report of this assessment is expected to be available in end of August 2016 with updated information regarding the number of people in food insecurity and in need of humanitarian assistance, nutritional status of children and women in drought affected areas, impact of humanitarian assistance provided so far among other elements. This assessment was supported by WFP, UNICEF, FAO, UNDP, UNFPA, Ireland and Fews Net.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MASA) preliminary assessment conducted in May 2016 the production estimation of main staple crops is 2.39 million MT for cereals (which 1.79 million MT is maize grain), 656,000 MT of pulses and 9 million MT of cassava. Regarding the cash crops, it was recorded good production of cashew (about 104,000 MT) and reduction in banana production of 6.7% when compared to last growing season.

The estimated cereals production represents 84 percent of the initially planned volume. However, according to food security outlook June 2016-January 2017 by Fews Net, based on estimates from the satellite-derived Water Requirements Satisfaction Index (WRSI) extended to the end of the season, maize grain production from the current season is expected to be close to average in the northern region, 10 to 20 percent below the average in the central region, and nearly 35 percent below the average in the southern region of the country.

It has been reported movement of people/existing internal displaced people (IDPs) due to drought and ongoing political-military tension especially in Manica province. At the moment, there are three accommodation centers opened in three districts namely in Barue, Gondola and Mossurize all in Manica province hosting a total of 2,152 people (412 families) as shown in the table below. INGC, COSACA and UNICEF have been assisting the IDPs with food and nonfood items (shelter kits, family kits, hygiene kits, school tents, jarry cans).