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About 1.58 million people in Angola face acute food insecurity

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A. Situation analysis

Angola is facing the worst recorded drought in 40 years. IPC analysis for October 2021 to March 2022 indicates that about 1.58 million people are experiencing high levels of acute food insecurity, of which 42% are in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) and 15% in IPC Phase 4 (Emergency). These people face difficulties in accessing food or are only able to meet the minimum food requirements through crisis and/or emergency coping strategies.

On 7 December, UNICEF published a call for Humanitarian Action for Children, alerting that an estimated 7.3 million people in Angola are facing food and nutrition insecurity due to climate shocks and about 3.9 million children are in need of assistance.

SARCOF-25 report indicates that during the December to January period, the country is projected to experience normal to above normal rainfall. This however is characterized by food shortages and increased incidences of high acute malnutrition which is projected to lead to further deterioration and a shift in phase from the current classification.

High levels of acute food insecurity and other impacts of the drought are present in all municipalities; however, it has more severely impacted six provinces: Cuanza Sul, Benguela, Huambo, Namibe, Huíla and Cunene. Luanda and other urban areas also remain highly vulnerable due to high levels of poverty, secondary impacts of COVID-19 and other disease outbreaks.

In addition, this drought comes on the back of three consecutive failed agricultural harvesting seasons with crop losses of 40 per cent and negatively impacting family and household income and livelihoods. An estimated 1.2 million people are facing water scarcity as a direct consequence of the drought and will have their water, sanitation and hygiene conditions compromised, exacerbated by COVID-19. A study conducted on the Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) found that many water points in the most drought-affected communes are not working, highlighting a critical gap for water, sanitation, and hygiene.

An IPC Acute Malnutrition analysis in Southern Angola revealed that around 114,000 children under the age of five are suffering or are likely to suffer from acute malnutrition in the next 12 months and therefore require treatment. In the Cunene, Huila, Namibe provinces, Alert levels of acute malnutrition during the July to September 2021 period were recorded. The persistent drought conditions in Southern Angola are exacerbating SAM admissions in these provinces.

It is based on the above that the Angolan Red Cross Society is seeking support to provide relief to 2,500 people impacted by the unprecedented drought in Cunene, Huila and Namibe provinces, while conducting detailed needs assessment on the basis of which the operation will be scaled up