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.

Drought-affected households in Lesotho, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe will continue to experience Crisis—IPC 3—levels of food insecurity until spring harvests begin between March and May, and some households in isolated areas may face Emergency—IPC 4—levels of food insecurity during the peak of the January-to-March lean season, according to the USAID-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET). In Malawi, limited amounts of emergency food assistance may result in a deterioration from Stressed—IPC 2—to Crisis levels during February and March, FEWS NET reports.

Mid-January forecasts from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration indicate conditions for above-average rainfall throughout much of Southern Africa from February–April. Several parts of the region received heavy rainfall in December that adversely affected crop conditions, according to FEWS NET.

Infestations of fall armyworm—an invasive species of caterpillar from Latin America that destroys maize—in Malawi, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe may result in substantial damage to crops, according to FEWS NET. The International Red Locust Control Organization for Central and Southern Africa reports that crop damage in Zambia and Zimbabwe may result in significant crop losses and an overall reduction in 2016/2017 production if infestations are not adequately contained.

In response to continued food insecurity, USAID’s Office of Food for Peace recently contributed more than $12.7 million to the UN World Food Program to provide emergency food assistance in Madagascar and Zimbabwe during the lean season.

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.


Mozambique experiences recurrent droughts, floods, and tropical storms. In response to recent disasters in Mozambique, USAID/OFDA has provided agricultural supplies; shelter support; and emergency relief commodities, including blankets, kitchen sets, and water treatment materials. USAID/OFDA also focuses on disaster risk reduction programs that build the capacity of communities to respond to future shocks through activities such as promoting conservation agricultural practices and establishing disaster management committees.

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Last updated: January 31, 2017

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