Weather Patterns, Food Security And Humanitarian Response In Sub-Saharan Africa
Although considerable achievements in the global reduction of hunger and poverty have been made, progress in Africa so far has been very limited. At present, a third of the African population faces widespread hunger and chronic malnutrition and is exposed to a constant threat of acute food crisis and famine. The most affected are rural households whose livelihood is heavily dependent on traditional rainfed agriculture. Rainfall plays a major role in determining agricultural production and hence the economic and social well being of rural communities. The rainfall pattern in sub-Saharan Africa is influenced by large-scale intra-seasonal and inter-annual climate variability including occasional El Niño events in the tropical Pacific resulting in frequent extreme weather event such as droughts and floods that reduce agricultural outputs resulting in severe food shortages. Households and communities facing acute food shortages are forced to adopt coping strategies to meet the immediate food requirements of their families. These extreme responses may have adverse long-term impacts on households' ability to have sustainable access to food as well as the environment. The HIV/AIDS crisis has also had adverse impacts on food production activities on the continent.
In the absence of safety nets and appropriate financial support mechanisms, humanitarian aid is required to enable households effectively cope with emergencies and manage their limited resources more efficiently. Timely and appropriate humanitarian aid will provide households with opportunities to engage in productive and