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Eswatini: Acute Food Insecurity Situation December 2018 - March 2019
Update on the Projection (December 2018 - March 2019) of the June 2018 Analysis
VALIDITY PERIOD
01.12.2018 > 31.03.2019
 
DECEMBER 2018 - MARCH 2019 
 
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Key
results


Population
estimates


Recommendations
& next steps


Acute
Malnutrition


NOTE: The figures in this projection are an update of the figures in the June - September 2018 analysis.

OVERVIEW

About 26% (246,639) of the population analysed is projected to face IPC Phase 3 or worse food insecurity situations between December 2018 and March 2019. The predicted impact of El Nino affecting rainfall performance, the late onset of the agricultural season, prolonged dry-spells, reduced labour opportunities and income, are some of the major limiting factors that will compromise households' ability to meet their food needs over the projected period. The impact of the Fall Armyworm, which has become endemic in the country, is also expected to worsen the situation if not well mitigated.

FACTORS DRIVING ACUTE FOOD INSECURITY CONDITIONS

In the projected period, Normal to Above Normal rainfall patterns are expected to persist until December 2018. Normal to Below Normal rainfall patterns are forecast from January to March 2019, attributed to the development of the El Nino phenomenon. Prolonged dry-spells and erratic rainfall are expected over the projected period especially during the critical growth stage of crops, which will have a negative impact on overall production, which will affect poor and very poor households, but especially agriculture-based livelihoods. The reduction in rainfall will lead to less demand for land preparation activities. There will consequently be less demand for casual labour and a reduction in income that is usually earned in this period in a typical year.

Area planted is expected to decline due to the inability to access the government subsidized tractors services for ploughing. High farm inputs prices are expected to also contribute to the reduction in land under cultivation. The Fall Armyworm is now endemic in the country and will remain a major threat to crop production. Government and partners have strengthened efforts to mitigate the impact of the pest and it is not expected to have serious impacts. Retail commodity prices for maize meal reflect a stable situation and the trend is expected to remain stable in the projected period. The recent government ban on the importation of maize-meal may increase prices, should the current supply in the country be compromised due to the anticipated decline in area planted, production and yields. However, increases in retail prices is likely to occur in the projected period. Continued increases in fuel prices expected is expected to further fuel observed increases in food prices and transport cost increases in the projected period. The evolving El Nino with the expected Normal to Below Normal rainfall and high temperatures, associated with the phenomenon, will further lead to water stress and dam levels are unlikely to replenish to normal levels.  This may lead to the drying up of water points and deterioration in grazing pastures.

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