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IPC in Southern Africa

The IPC was introduced in Southern Africa in February 2008, during an awareness-raising workshop held in Gaborone. The event was hosted by the Southern African Development Community's (SADC) multi-agency Regional Vulnerability Assessment Committee (RVAC), which leads critical improvements in food security and vulnerability analyses at regional and country level. 

In 2009, a Technical Working Group (TWG) was established within the RVAC of the SADC, taking on the coordination role of IPC activities in the region. Awareness was raised among all the VACs in the region, and four countries requested support to introduce the IPC: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique.

The El Niño occurrence in the SADC region led to an increase in calls for IPC adoption to classify severity of food insecurity.  To date, ten countries have taken up the IPC Acute Food Insecurity Classification (Angola, Eswatini, LesothoMadagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe) and have integrated it as part of their annual Vulnerability Assessment and Analysis (VAA).  In addition, Angola, Madagascar and Mozambique undertake the IPC Acute Malnutrition Classification once a year, after completion of the SMART Surveys.

The relevance of the IPC Chronic Food Security Classification has escalated in Southern Africa since the roll-out of the new Phase of the RVAA programme in 2017. The new programme plans to assess and find interventions for the drivers of chronic vulnerability and food insecurity. In line with this new programme, Mozambique and Eswatini are rolling out the classification, with Lesotho, Malawi and Madagascar to follow. 

The main objectives of the SADC IPC TWG are to: ensure a demand-driven and regionally owned process; prepare and implement a regional roll-out strategy; develop technical capacity at country and regional levels; coordinate and facilitate country and regional level events; provide technical and institutional support; and consolidate, disseminate and internalize lessons learned.

A strong regional TWG supports the IPC in Southern Africa. The TWG is chaired by FEWS NET. Other members include World Vision, Oxfam, WFP, FAO, UNICEF and SADC. Members of the Regional IPC TWG provide a range of support to SADC member states, which are implementing any of the three IPC classifications. 

The IPC Global Support Unit (GSU) provides funding and technical support for countries who want to undertake any of the IPC classifications. In addition, the SADC IPC unit has been established to coordinate the implementation of IPC and works in close collaboration with all IPC partners and countries. 

Plans for the next years include the following:

  • Relocation of the SADC IPC Unit to the RVAA programme - to be led and implemented through the SADC RVAA programme;
  • Scale up of the IPC Acute Food Insecurity and IPC Acute Malnutrition classifications to all relevant countries in the region facing acute crisis;
  • Scale up of the IPC Chronic Food Insecurity classification to understand the underlying drivers of chronic food insecurity;
  • Harmonized analyses of countries experiencing recurrent acute crisis due to underlying chronic food insecurity to inform both development and emergency interventions.


For more information on IPC in Southern Africa, please contact:

Mr. Kudzayi Kariri

IPC Regional Coordinator for Southern Africa

IPC Global Support Unit (IPC GSU)

Hosted at FAO REOSA-UN

UN House, Ground Floor, 1 Eglin Road Sunninghill

2191 Johannesburg, South Africa

[email protected]

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