Poor production amidst low purchasing power results in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes
The 2022 harvest improved food security outcomes across much of the region, particularly in surplus-producing areas of Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Madagascar, central and northern Malawi, and northern parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Improvements will likely be marginal and short-lived in the worst drought and cyclone-affected areas of Zimbabwe, the Grand South of Madagascar, southern and central Mozambique, and parts of southern Malawi due to a lower-than-normal harvest. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) are likely in these areas between June and September, while in the Grand South of Madagascar, Crisis! (IPC Phase 3!) outcomes are ongoing as humanitarian assistance is mitigating food consumption deficits.
Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes will likely emerge in the Grand South of Madagascar in August following the severe 2021/22 drought, which has driven extremely low maize, cassava, and sweet potato harvests, and humanitarian aid is likely to end in August. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are expected to persist in neighboring areas where households have lower than average purchasing power.
Persistent insecurity and conflict in Mozambique and DRC continue to disrupt livelihood activities. In Mozambique, attacks by insurgents in eastern Cabo Delgado in early June, including previously conflict-free areas of Ancuabe and Chiúre districts, displaced over 23,000 people, according to IOM. Before May, the insurgents frequently carried out small-scale attacks, primarily in Macomia, Mueda, Nangade, and Meluco, with small insurgent cells seeking to loot food and supplies from unguarded places. In DRC, populations in conflict-affected areas continue to be displaced, particularly in the east of the country. DRC has nearly 5.6 million internally displaced persons in 13 provinces, nearly 85 percent of whom are in North and South Kivu and Ituri provinces alone. Due to disrupted livelihoods and displacement, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) is ongoing among many IDPs.
While food prices have seasonally declined, they remain elevated and higher than in 2021 and the five-year average across much of the region. The overall decrease in prices during the harvest is much lower than typical, driven by market pressure from the high global food and fuel prices. Additionally, the high international prices and continued depreciation of the local currency contribute to below-average household purchasing power, notably among those who are atypically market reliant in the post-harvest period. In Zimbabwe, macroeconomic instability, marked by spiking exchange rates, will likely remain a prime driver of rapidly increasing headline inflation.