Famine getting worse in Zambia, says Red Cross

Famine getting worse in Zambia, says Red Cross

Published on 18 Sep 2019

This bulletin is for information purposes only and reflects the current situation of food security in Zambia. The content of this report represents the details available at the time of publication. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and other Red Cross Red Crescent Movement partners are working with Zambia Red Cross Society (ZRCS) to assist the affected people.

The situation

Zambia is currently facing acute food insecurity, shortage of clean and safe drinking water, chronic high malnutrition, an energy deficit and livestock diseases. The devastating effects of prolonged dry spells coupled with the late onset of the rainy season have resulted in poor agricultural production and reduced access to food, contributing to acute food insecurity conditions across the country.

The prolonged dry spells between January and March 2019 affected Southern and Western parts of Lusaka, and the Eastern and Central provinces. In most districts, many households facing a second consecutive season with prolonged dry spells had limited stocks of cereals which depleted during the first three post-harvest months of April – June 2019 setting in motion widespread food scarcity expected to continue up to the next harvest period, that is, April of 2020. Most of these households rely entirely on rainfed crop production for food and income and any prolonged deviation from the normal pattern drastically undermines food security.

Further, thirty-eight (38) of the fifty-eight (58) districts that were in IPC phase 3 (crisis) by April have now degenerated to IPC phase 4 (emergency). A total population of 1.7 million is facing food scarcity.

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