Swaziland: Acute Food Insecurity Situation April-June 2016 and Projections for July-September 2016 and October 2016 - February 2017
01.04.2016 > 28.02.2017


& next steps


In the April-June 2016 period, the IPC acute analysis revealed that over 24% of rural households in the analyzed areas are classified in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis), and 5% in Phase 4 (Emergency) and require urgent assistance to protect livelihoods and relieve food consumption gaps. The main causes for the deterioration of the food consumption and livelihoods of households in “Crisis” and “Emergency” Phases include crop failure, limited or no livestock ownership, limited income sources, etc.

Slight deterioration from July to September 2016: Due to an overall significant decrease in food production compared to the previous year, particularly in Hhohho and Lubombo regions (64% and 88% lower production compared to the 2014/2015 season, respectively), the number of households in “Crisis” situation (IPC Phase 3) is expected to slightly increase, with an additional estimated 5% of the population currently in “Stressed” conditions (IPC Phase 2) expected to move into IPC Phase 3 as they run out of their limited food stocks. It is foreseen that an estimated 35% of the population will remain in Phase 1 (“Minimal”). This includes households who harvested sufficient crops and own livestock that can be sold sustainably. Around 30% of households are expected to experience stress and instability (IPC Phase 2), compared to 36% in the current period. Households in this phase maintain minimally adequate food consumption, but are unable to afford essential non-food expenditures without using negative “coping strategies”, which include relying on less preferred food, purchasing cheaper foods and using unsustainable livelihood strategies. Overall, the 35% of the households classified in IPC Phase 3 (30%) and IPC Phase 4 (5%) include mainly those who faced total crop failure or harvested limited quantities of crops, have limited access to lowlands with water facilities for the second season; little or no animals to sell and are heavily reliant on their own food production and sale of agricultural products. The majority of these households are among the poorest.


Worsening situation from October 2016 to February 2017: During this period, the situation is expected to worsen for the following reasons: (i) due to limited soil moisture, the second season’s crops will most likely be limited, even in the areas expecting good rainfall; (ii) more households will have run out of their food stocks from the first season – for those who had any, and (iii) prices are expected to remain high or further increase. Although the situation will deteriorate, it is expected that some households will be able to turn to other sources of income during this time, such as casual labor, migration and selling animals. In general, 20% to 40% of households (depending on the areas) that still have some agricultural reserve, and/or have animals and/or other sources of income will remain in IPC Phase 1 as they will be able to access sufficient food without further stressing their livelihoods. Some households that are projected in IPC Phase 2 during the July-September period are likely to shift into IPC Phase 3 from October onwards as food stocks from households’ own production from the first and second season are expected to be depleted and reliance on purchase increase in a context of high prices, thereby affecting purchasing power. For this period (Oct. 2016 – Feb. 2017), it is estimated that 30% to 55% of households, depending on the areas, will be in IPC Phase 3 or 4. These are the households that will have no food stocks left, no or very limited access to other sources of income, and/or have already sold animals or do not have livestock to sell. These households are likely to become increasingly dependent on consumption of wild foods and engage in unsustainable livelihood activities, such as charcoal sale. It is estimated that up to 15% of households in the most affected areas (i.e. Lubombo and Shiselweni) will be in PC Phase 4 between October 2016 and February 2017.


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