'The Longest Lean Season': How urgent action is needed to counter the devastating humanitarian impacts of the El Nino drought in Southern Africa
Although the El Nino weather event has ended, the humanitarian needs resulting from the drought in Southern Africa remain huge, and are still deepening. With the next harvests not due until March/April 2017, governments, donors and humanitarian actors must urgently provide food and other assistance to support people through this long, hard lean season. Farmers desperately need seeds and fertilizers if they are to take advantage of predicted rains and produce better harvests next year; a critical shortage in Malawi could lead to a cereal shortfall of nearly one million tons. In addition, all actors must be ready to respond immediately to the damaging impacts of heavy rains forecast across the region.