Following El Niño and the failure of two consecutive rainy seasons, Southern Africa has experienced the worst drought in 35 years. Significant harvest failures and a decrease in cultivated area has, according to cereal harvest assessments, resulted in a cereal shortfall of 9.3 million tonnes in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), with only 72 per cent of required cereals available in the region (excluding DRC, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Tanzania). South Africa, usually the main producer of maize in the region, is expecting a maize harvest that is 29 percent less than in the 2015 season, which was also a drought year. Zambia is the only country currently forecasting a cereal surplus. High prices of maize, and food in general, sluggish economic performance in some countries and the depreciation of national currencies have also contributed to exacerbating the negative shocks this year.