Drought forcing women to survival sex
From MAVHUTO BANDA in Lilongwe, Malawi
LILONGWE, (CAJ News) – WOMEN in drought-prone Southern African countries are increasingly resort to survival sex and other forms of exploitative behaviour in return for money and food, humanitarian organisations said.
The El Niño induced drought is disproportionally affecting women and children, especially young girls are dropping out of school due to lack of water and food.
It is feared such impulsive behaviour could exacerbate catastrophe in a region also severely beset by the scourge of HIV/AIDS and rampant poverty.
These are among the setbacks sparked by worst drought in 35 years in the region devastating the lives of 40 million people.
Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe have been worst affected.
“We have warned for months that this food crisis deteriorates by the day,” Michelle Carter, CARE’s deputy regional director for Southern Africa, said in Lilongwe.
CARE is providing humanitarian aid and addressing poverty in the region.
Carter says the region is now approaching the peak of hunger but international funding still does match the enormous needs.
So far, there is a funding gap of US$550 million (R7,5 billion) to reach people in desperate need of assistance.
“Without additional funding, we will see more people dying of hunger. More children will suffer irreparable damage from malnutrition and die of preventable diseases,” warned Carter.
Several governments have declared national emergencies as the scale of the drought overstretches coping mechanisms.
– CAJ NEWS
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