Latest Southern Africa Fact Sheet

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Key Developments

USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance USAID/OFDA) is responding to a regional drought in Southern Africa, including in Angola, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe.

The planting season, which extends through the end of December in some areas, has commenced in the Southern Africa region. Given the positive rainfall forecast for most of the sub-region by the Southern Africa Regional Climate Outlook Forum (SARCOF), farmers with timely access to inputs, such as seeds, have an opportunity to recover drought-disrupted livlihoods following the upcoming April/May harvest, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). FAO highlights that emergency activities in the agriculture sector, such as those supported by USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA), will also contribute to a reduction in food consumption gaps and reliance on emergency food aid.

As of early November, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that La Niña conditions were present in the tropical Pacific Ocean. SARCOF forecasts indicate that weak La Niña conditions will persist until December, followed by a 55 percent chance of neutral conditions during the December-to-February period. According to SARCOF, La Niña in Southern Africa is generally associated with above-average rainfall.

USAID/OFDA and USAID's Office of Food for Peace representatives traveled to southern Madagascar between October 31 and November 11 to assess humanitarian needs generated by ongoing El Niño-related drought conditions and monitor USAID humanitarian programs. In FY 2016, USAID provided more than $26 million to support UN agencies and non-governmental organizations responding to drought-related needs in Madagascar.

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.


Lesotho experiences erratic rainfall, recurrent droughts, and soil degradation, which can adversely affect food security. In addition to responding to urgent humanitarian needs, USAID/OFDA supports interventions to build the capacity of people in Lesotho to withstand disasters. For example, USAID/OFDA has supported programs to train emergency responders in Lesotho and supported initiatives to improve the land management and agricultural techniques of local farmers.

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Last updated: November 23, 2016

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