Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes persist in most southern and central areas as ongoing humanitarian food assistance is preventing worse outcomes. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) persists in parts of Tete, due to low levels of food assistance, and in conflict affected areas of Cabo Delgado. These outcomes are anticipated to persist through the end of the lean season in March.
As most poor households begin accessing food from the main harvest in April, much of the country will improve to Minimal (IPC Phase 1) or Stressed (IPC Phase 2). Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is expected to persist in conflict affected parts of Cabo Delgado, where agricultural activities were disrupted and production is expected to be below average. In southern Mozambique, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes will begin to emerge in late April as planned humanitarian assistance comes to an end and households face a third consecutive poor season.
In some areas affected by last year’s cyclones (Kenneth and Idai), the recovery process may be slower than expected due to severe weather including heavy rains and associated flooding, lightning strikes, hailstorms and strong winds. This may result in prolonged lean season effects in these areas until they manage to harvest from post-flood planting later than usual. As of January 28, nearly 68,000 people have been affected, with the death of 45 people, and the destruction of infrastructures including over 3,000 houses, and damages to bridges, schools, health centers and electric networks. The floods have also submerged cropped areas, particularly in the lowland areas, which may require water recession planting for the second season.
In contrast, southern Mozambique and southern parts of Tete, Manica, and Sofala provinces are facing drought combined with abnormally high temperatures. Insufficient and erratic rainfall resulted in multiple rounds of planting by households due to successive crop loss. The latest planted crops are still between germination and emergence stages and are unlikely to reach maturity even with improved rainfall. Production is expected to be well below average in southern areas for the third consecutive season, with some areas facing total crop loss.
Poor households are heavily relying on market purchases for food, however abnormally high maize grain prices are lowering their purchasing power. Prices of maize grain increased seasonally by 5 to 30 percent from November to December; however, overall prices remain well above average due to below average market supply. Maize grain prices are approximately 65 to 120 percent above their respective 2018 levels and 40 to 95 percent above the five-year average.