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Evaluation of FAO’s contribution to building resilience to El Niño-induced drought in Southern Africa 2016-2017











Annex 1. Methodological approach

Management response

Evaluation of the El-Niño response in Zimbabwe: The farmers perspective (Video)


FAO. 2020. Evaluation of FAO's contribution to building resilience to El Niño-induced drought in Southern Africa, 2016-2017. Thematic Evaluation Series, 01/2020. Rome.




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    Climate-change vulnerability in rural Zambia: the impact of an El Niño-induced shock on income and productivity 2019
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    This paper examines the impacts of the El Niño during the 2015/2016 season on maize productivity and income in rural Zambia. The analysis aims at identifying whether and how sustainable land management (SLM) practices and livelihood diversification strategies have contributed to moderate the impacts of such a weather shock. The analysis was conducted using a specifically designed survey called the El Niño Impact Assessment Survey (ENIAS), which is combined with the 2015 wave of the Rural Agricultural Livelihoods Surveys (RALS), as well as high resolution rainfall data from the Africa Rainfall Climatology version 2 (ARC2). This unique, integrated data set provides an opportunity to understand the impacts of shocks like El Niño that are expected to get more frequent and severe in Zambia, as well as understand the agricultural practices and livelihood strategies that can buffer household production and welfare from the impacts of such shocks to drive policy recommendations. Results show that households affected by the drought experienced a decrease in maize yield by around 20 percent, as well as a reduction in income up to 37 percent, all else equal. Practices that moderated the impact of the drought included livestock diversification, income diversification, and the adoption of agro-forestry. Interestingly, the use of minimum soil disturbance was not effective in moderating the yield and income effects of the drought. Policies to support livestock sector development, agroforestry adoption, and off -farm diversification should be prioritized as effective drought resiliency strategies in Zambia.
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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Anticipating El Niño: Mitigation, preparedness and response plan for Southern Africa, 2023–2025 2023
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    El Niño poses a serious threat to the food security and survival of vulnerable communities around the world. In Southern Africa, the phenomenon brings dry conditions, with global forecasts projecting a substantial reduction in rainfall in the region. Through the anticipating El Niño mitigation, prepardness and response plan for Southern Africa, FAO aims to protect the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable populations and to contribute to efforts to strengthen the collaboration between humanitarian, development and peace actors. FAO requires USD 128 million to assist 4 million households across Southern Africa, namely in Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. By taking resolute action, the way can be paved for a more resilient future for agriculture and the communities it supports, even in the face of El Niño.
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    Project
    Emergency Assistance to Mitigate the Impact of El Niño-Induced Drought on Livelihoods of Vulnerable Agricultural and Agropastoral Households in Zambia - TCP/ZAM/3703 2020
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    The agriculture sector in Zambia supports the livelihoods of nearly 85 percent of the population, which includes 17 million people located across three agroecological zones. The sector is currently facing an increasing number of hazards, such as recurrent dry spells, floods and pest insurgences, which affect crops and livestock of economic importance. The effects of drought, in particular, are being exacerbated by increased occurrences of El Niño weather patterns. Moreover, drier conditions are likely to lead to increased insurgences of pests, such as the fall armyworm (FAW), and cases of livestock disease. Prior to the project, the 2018/19 National Contingency Plan, which was jointly developed by the Government, UN agencies and non-governmental organizations, estimated that 609 608 agriculture-dependent households would be affected by extreme weather conditions, with around 280 000 people requiring food assistance. The affected population would also require emergency assistance that enables them to engage in agricultural activities to rebuild their livelihoods. To mitigate the effects of El Niño-induced drought in Zambia, the project sought not only to protect existing livelihood assets, including crops and livestock, against potential threats, but also promote agricultural practices and effective surveillance measures that support production.

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