UN Calls for Significant Funding to Address Food Crisis in Southern Africa, Seeks $400Million

UN Calls for Significant Funding to Address Food Crisis in Southern Africa, Seeks $400Million
UN Calls for Significant Funding to Address Food Crisis in Southern Africa, Seeks $400Million

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is seeking an infusion of $400 million to provide food assistance to millions of people in Southern Africa affected by a severe drought that has plunged vast areas into hunger.

On Wednesday, WFP officials outlined the need for critical funding that would extend through November and support relief efforts in countries like Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Malawi. The drought, spurred by the El Niño weather pattern, has adversely affected approximately 4.8 million individuals and significantly diminished crop harvests.

El Niño is characterized by its disruptive effects on Pacific Ocean wind patterns and temperatures, leading to reduced rainfall and impacting crops.

Tomson Phiri, a spokesperson for the WFP, mentioned, “We are potentially looking at the largest El Niño response ever in Southern Africa.”

He elaborated that the drought has devastated more than two-thirds of the local population dependent on rain-fed agriculture, essentially erasing their harvests.

The World Food Programme has already provided financial assistance to affected communities and is seeking additional grain purchases from the international market due to the drought’s repercussions.

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In the previous year, the WFP dedicated $14 million in August towards subsidizing food supplies for communities in Lesotho, Madagascar, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.

Ongoing drought conditions have depleted grain reserves, prompting nations like Zimbabwe to look overseas for grain procurement.

To combat increased hunger, Zimbabwe’s private millers have announced plans to import 1.4 million metric tonnes of maize from Brazil, Argentina, among others.

Moreover, the African Union Climate Agency is set to allocate a $32 million insurance fund to Zimbabwe for drought relief, as per Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube.

In conclusion, Cash transfers are being arranged for communities in vulnerable conditions, and humanitarian agencies are also slated to receive financial aid to facilitate the acquisition of food and address the emergent food security challenges.

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