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Southern Africa Food Security Update
September 2009
US Agency for International Development (USAID), Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET)

Acknowledgements: FANRPAN acknowledges US Agency for International Development (USAID) and Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET) as the source of this report: http://www.fews.net


The regional most likely food security scenario for July-December 2009 remains valid, with projected stable food security conditions in most areas and isolated pockets of food insecurity in some areas affected by weather-related shocks resulting in reduced crop production, income levels, agricultural labor opportunities, and food supplies on local markets. A number of households previously identified as moderately food insecure are now slipping into highly food insecure status as the limited stocks they had from own production have run out. General food distribution programs have not yet commenced in most areas with identified vulnerable populations, as logistics are still being put in place by governments and the humanitarian community.

According to the climate outlook statement issued by the Southern Africa Climate Outlook Forum (SARCOF) at the end of August, much of the southern half of the region has higher chances of receiving normal to below-normal rainfall between October 2009 and March 2010, while the southeastern parts of the region have greater chances of normal-to-above normal rainfall in the first half of the season and increased chances of normal to below-normal rainfall in the second half of the season. In addition, the northeastern quadrant of the region is forecast to have enhanced chances of normal to above-normal rainfall throughout the rainfall season, with some areas, particularly in the Zambezi basin and western Madagascar, having even greater chances of above-normal rainfall throughout the season.

Most markets in the region are adequately stocked with staple foods, including those in deficit areas, as available foods find their way from surplus areas to deficit areas through formal and informal trading, resulting in stabilization of nominal prices of staple foods. However, price variations exists across markets, with some markets registering unexpectedly high nominal price increases of staple foods, which is a little unusual for this time of year.

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