At this USAID-supported women's association, they learn to plant new crops, such as eggplant, beans, and kale.
At this USAID-supported women's association, they learn to plant new crops, such as eggplant, beans, and kale.
USAID/Sonia Walia

Latest Southern Africa Fact Sheet

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Key Developments

Southern Africa continues to experience the negative effects of El Niño-related drought conditions that began in 2015. The drought has resulted in widespread livestock losses, as well as signficant crop failure resulting in cereal deficits of 9 million metric tons (MT)—including maize deficits of 5 million MT—throughout the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. The drought has also led to water scarcity for both human and animal consumption, and drought-affected communities are using unprotected water sources, increasing the risk of waterborne illnesses. In September, SADC reported that approximately 21.3 million people in Southern Africa were in need of immediate humanitarian assistance to mitigate the impacts of the drought.

The Southern Africa Regional Climate Outlook Forum (SARCOF) reports neutral El Niño conditions and a low probability of La Niña conditions in Southern Africa as of September 26. SARCOF expects that Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe will experience normal to above-normal rainfall between October and March. While the October-to-March rainy season is unlikely to mitigate regional water deficits, SARCOF notes the potential for an improved agricultural season if farmers have timely access to inputs, including seeds and tools, and adopt climate-adaptive agricultural practices when appropriate.

USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance and USAID's Office of Food for Peace have provided a combined total of more than $308 million in FY 2015–2016 to mitigate the effects of drought in Southern Africa. USAID partners are providing emergency food assistance, nutrition interventions, safe drinking water, and agricultural assistance, including seeds, to affected populations. USAID is also monitoring the flow of emergency relief commodities and food assistance to the region, to ensure the timely delivery of humanitarian assistance to affected populations.

USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA)  is responding to a regional drought in Southern Africa. Please visit our webpage for additional information.


Angola regularly experiences drought, flooding, and food insecurity. A lack of access to safe drinking water and basic health care services contributes to increased morbidity and mortality rates in Angola. USAID/OFDA’s response strategy in Southern Africa includes investing in disaster risk reduction programs that build regional, national, and local level capacities and supporting the integration of ongoing disaster response capacity-building programs to eliminate gaps and strengthen response networks in the region.

Latest Angola Fact Sheet

Humanitarian Assistance in Review - FY 2006-2015 (256kb PDF)

Related Sectors of Work 

Last updated: October 14, 2016

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