The negative impacts of the El Nino induced drought, the worst in 35 years, which has caused a humanitarian crisis affecting 39 million people or 13% of SADC population, continues to intensify. Several factors including depleted food reserves, rising food prices, lower commodity prices, slowing economic growth among other key factors, are exacerbating the situation. Staple food prices are rising due to the generally poor crop production over the past two years. The Regional cereal deficit currently stands at close to 7.4 metric tonnes and is 11% below the five year average dropping from 29 million tonnes in 2015 to 26 million tonnes in 2016 (figures exclude Mauritius and Seychelles). The majority of the population is now entirely dependent on the markets for food.