Region faces a precarious food and nutrition security situation in the face of COVID-19 – report
The SADC 2020 Synthesis Report on the State of Food and Nutrition Security and Vulnerability in
Southern Africa which was released in July 2020 reveals a precarious food and nutrition security situation, in the face of COVID-19.
In the released 11th Bulletin of the SADC Response to COVID-19 which provides an overview of the global, continental and regional situation states that close to 44.8 million people in both urban and rural areas of Southern Africa are food insecure due to multiple shocks and stressors.
According to the publication nine SADC Member States are also reporting stunting rates above 30%, and micronutrient deficiencies are widespread.
“Yet the full impact of COVID-19 and the lockdown which has contributed massively to already pervasive poverty can not yet be fathomed. The urban poor have been suffering since the very start of the lockdown, as they rely wholly on the market for their food,” they noted.
Meanwhile, the region’s 2020 maize harvest is expected to have increased by at least 8% from last year.
However, poor rainfall and economic challenges are expected to see Zimbabwe experience on of its highest cereal harvest deficits of about 52% of national requirements.
Dry conditions also affected production in Eswatini, Lesotho, south-eastern Angola, southern Madagascar and Mozambique and most of Zimbabwe. Rural food insecurity is expected to peak between November, the report said.
Meanwhile, as of 14 August, Africa marked six months since COVID-19 was first detected on the continent.