Millions at risk in drought-prone SADC
From MAVHUTO BANDA in Lilongwe, Malawi
LILONGWE, (CAJ News) – MORE than 40 million people are at risk of starvation in Southern Africa if immediate assistance is not received to cushion them from severe drought, a United Nations envoy has warned.
Angola, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zimbabwe are the most severely affected countries in a region experiencing the worst El Niño-induced drought in 35 years.
Millions are food insecure, including 23 million who require urgent humanitarian assistance. About 2,7 million children face severe acute malnutrition.
The figure is expected to spike significantly during the October 2016-March 2017 lean season.
UN Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Kyung-wha Kang, who has recently concluded a visit to Madagascar and Malawi, urged international donors and development partners to join in efforts to raise the profile of the El Niño crisis facing the region and highlighted the urgency of the response needed.
In Madagascar, 1,14 million people are food insecure.
In Malawi, a State of National Disaster was declared in April, with 6,5 million people – nearly 40 percent of the population – unable to get enough food by the end of this year.
“I appeal to governments and donors to give generously right now, so that we can provide life-saving assistance, alleviate suffering and prepare for the effects of La Niña,” Kang appealed.
– CAJ News
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