$1.2 billion needed for southern Africa drought

2016-07-29 08:13

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Humanitarian agencies said on Thursday that they need $1.2 billion in critical aid for seven drought-stricken countries in southern Africa, as the El Nino weather phenomenon continues to devastate crops across the region.

An estimated 12.3 people million are at risk, southern Africa's Regional Inter-Agency Standing Committee said, as their food stocks are exhausted and their access to safe drinking water becomes limited.

The hardest hit countries are Angola, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.

The United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned that if the agencies failed to raise the funds in time, the consequences of the drought would be catastrophic.

"Droughts, like the one caused this year by El Nino, are becoming more frequent and more severe," said Timo Pakkala, OCHA El Nino Co-ordinator for Southern Africa.

"The time to act is now... not only only to save lives now, but also to prevent crises of this scale happening again."

The drought has been labelled the worst in 35 years.

Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique have all issued drought alerts in recent months, as thousands of cattle die, reservoirs shrink and harvests fail.

Critical point

Pakkala said the situation had been worsened by the timing of the drought, which hit as the economies of many of the affected countries were struggling.

"We are at a critical point," said CARE regional director Emma Naylor-Ngugi.

"People are being pushed to the brink... unless donors provide more funding, millions of people will suffer and hard-won development gains will be reversed."

The agencies said it was vital to scale up their response to prevent hunger-related deaths.

"I hope we will not get to that point," said Lewis Hove, from the Food and Agriculture Organisation.

"We are working to make sure that it does not happen."

Read more on:    ocha  |  weather  |  drought  |  southern africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.