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GDO Analytical Report: Drought in Sub-Saharan and Southern Africa – August 2021

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Executive summary

  • Sub-Saharan Africa has a long record of droughts that have caused extensive damage in the recent past. The high seasonality of rainfall, the number of people exposed and the vulnerability of their societies and economies make this geographic region particularly susceptible to drought risk1 . At present,there are five areas of major concern: southern Madagascar, Angola (western and coastal regions), central Nigeria, Kenya and southern Somalia (coast), and northern Zambia. All events are geographically distant: in Madagascar and Angola are very severe and long-lasting. The other three feature an initial status of drought, requiring a close follow-up, to understand their potential evolution and impacts over time.

  • All of these regions are characterised by marked precipitation seasonality and the main issue leading to the current drought is the widespread failure of previous wet seasons, in some cases for several consecutive years.

  • Drought impacts in Southern Madagascar are widespread and severe, with 1.31 million persons targeted by humanitarian aid and agricultural losses up to 60% in the most populated provinces. In Angola, an estimated 3.81 million people are without sufficient food supply since January 2021. Risk of food insecurity is reported from Malanje province and as much as 70% of crops are allegedly affected by drought.