The on-again, off-again La Niña has governments, aid agencies and development partners in Southern Africa in a quandary. The shifting predictions are complicating things for governments and agencies still battling to muster a respectable response to 2016’s El Niño-induced drought. Encumbered by a severe lack of funds, poor data for decision-making and a general lack of capacity for co-ordination, governments and aid agencies are struggling to deliver life-saving aid to millions of people left reeling by the worst drought to hit the region in 35 years, and the second to hit the region in as many years. While the El Niño weather event blamed for massive crop failure and livestock deaths across the region has ended, the humanitarian needs from the resultant drought remain huge. El Niño’s impacts on water availability and agricultural production have led to cascading effects on food security, livelihoods, health, water, sanitation, education and the safety of women and children. Signifi...

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