According to the acute food insecurity analysis in Zambia, it is estimated that around 1.42 million people (22% of the analysed population) were facing high levels of acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 or above) between July and September 2020, despite increased crop production in most areas. That includes 1.24 million people in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and nearly 190,000 people in Emergency (IPC Phase 4). These populations have been affected by flooding, below-normal rainfall, an outbreak of Fall Armyworm, and high maize prices. Although the price of maize has been on a decline since the start of the 2020/2021 consumption year, it still remains above the Stressed (IPC Phase 2).
Between October 2020 and March 2021, Zambia’s food security situation is expected to deteriorate, as this coincides with the lean season, when more households will rely on the market for food. It is projected that about 1.98 million people (29% of the analysed population) will be facing high levels of acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 or above) and require urgent humanitarian action to reduce food gaps, protect and restore livelihoods and prevent acute malnutrition. The 2020/2021 rainfall season, which coincides with the projected period, has been forecast to be above-normal in most of Southern Africa.
Therefore, it is expected that poor households will be able to rely more on labour opportunities for food and income. Flooding, however, is also expected to increase, thereby affecting most of the household that live in flood-prone areas in the north and northeastern parts of the country.
COVID-19 will likely continue to pose risks to areas close to main urban areas, as cases increase through the country, and if the government does not impose restrictions.