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Publication | 2020

South Africa: Acute Food Insecurity Situation September - December 2020 and Projection for January - March 2021

In the current period, September - December 2020, 9.34 million people in South Africa (16% of the population analysed) faced high levels of acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 or above) and required urgent action to reduce food gaps and protect livelihoods. Of the nine provinces of South Africa, eight: Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Gauteng, North West, Free State, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and Western Cape, were classified in Stressed (IPC Phase 2), and are in need of action for livelihood protection, while Kwa-Zulu Natal Province is classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). South Africa’s deteriorating food security is mainly driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigation measures as well as high food prices, drought and economic decline.  

In the projected period (January - March 2021), 11.8 million people (20% of the analysed population) are expected to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). Of the nine provinces analysed, seven provinces, namely Limpopo, North West, Gauteng, Free State, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Eastern Cape and Western Cape, will likely fall into Crisis (IPC Phase 3), while the Mpumalanga province and Northern Cape will remain in IPC Stressed (IPC Phase 2). A large proportion of the South African population will likely need urgent action to reduce food gaps and protect livelihoods.