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Regional themes > Food security Last update: 2020-11-27  

Famine Early Warning Systems Network

Southern Africa food security brief November 2004

Famine Early Warning Systems Network

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  • Executive Summary
  • Food security and import/export progress
  • Current interventions
  • Regional price movements and trade flows
  • Start of season and updated rainfall outlook

Executive Summary

As Southern Africa approaches the lean season, food security in the region is reportedly declining—particularly in those countries where food production was insufficient to meet requirements. It is at this time when household food stocks are increasingly drawn down, and levels of purchases are constrained by increasing food prices and lack of employment opportunities. October retail food prices were reportedly rising (as is normal for this time of year) in response to dwindling supplies, raising concerns about growing food access problems among vulnerable populations. Although intra-regional trade continues to play an important role in filling import requirements, current import rates are very slow, exacerbating food availability problems. Barriers to informal trade, specifically high import levies, have also acted to constrain trade levels between some neighboring countries. Nonetheless, import deliveries—especially imports into countries facing shortages—are expected to increase from December up to March, after which households will begin to access new season crops.

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