• 44.7 million people are projected to be food insecure largely due to the cumulative effects of climate-induced shocks compounded by widespread poverty, chronic malnutrition, macro-economic shocks, and conflict. The COVID-19 pandemic will magnify the scale and severity of food insecurity.
• COVID-19’s impact on nutrition could lead to an increase of 1.7 million children who will suffer from wasting in 2020 bringing the total number of acutely malnourished children to 8.5 million in the Southern Africa region.
• While a regional maize surplus of 4.5 million MT is estimated for the 2020/21 marketing year, a number of countries continue to register continued deficits and will need to import large quantities of maize.
• While maize prices across the region have been declining in line with seasonal trends, they remain somewhat firm in part due to impacts associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.
• Swarming activity of African Migratory Locust (AML) has been reported in parts of Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana and southern Angola. COVID-19 lock-down measures have impeded efforts to swiftly control the swarms; if not suppressed soon, locust infestations could affect the 2020/21 agricultural season starting October.
• As a regional migration hub estimated to have 4.2 million migrants primarily from neighbouring countries, the COVID-19 enforced national lock-down in South Africa has led to increased job/income loss and loss of remittances. Health risks are also high for stranded irregular migrants.