World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Over 3.5 Million People in Drought-Hit Areas of Africa

Over 3.5 Million People in Drought-Hit Areas of Africa to Receive Food Relief From UN

New York, Nov 30 2012 11:10AM The United Nations food relief agency today <"http://www.wfp.org/news/news-release/hunger-season-bites-across-southern-africa-millions-face-prospect-food-shortages">announced it is scaling up its efforts to assist more than 3.5 million people in drought-hit areas of southern Africa, particularly in Malawi, Zimbabwe and Lesotho, who are now facing the start of the hunger season.

“Large numbers of smallholder farmers and their families are in the grip of what is set to be one of the harshest hunger seasons of recent years,” said the World Food Programme’s (WFP) Deputy Regional Director for Southern Africa, Brenda Barton.

“With the help of governments, donors and regional organizations, we’re mobilizing resources to help the most vulnerable, not only with food distributions,” she added, “but also with innovative solutions like cash transfers via mobile phones so people can buy their own food.”

Erratic rainfall during the last planting season meant that harvests in many areas were not sufficient to sustain the nutritional needs of farming communities this year and, even where food is available in local markets, it is often too expensive for the poorest households, according to WFP. To add to this situation, communities already struggling to feed their families are now bracing for the onset of the so-called ‘hunger season’ which traditionally lasts from December until harvest time in March.

The UN agency notes that southern Malawi, southern Zimbabwe, and the southern highlands of Lesotho face particularly severe food shortages, while the prices of staple foods are increasing. Over the past year, the price of maize has increased 60 per cent in the markets of Lesotho and nearly 80 per cent in Malawi.

WFP is working with the Government of Malawi and partners to distribute food to more than 1.8 million people living in rural communities in the southern part of the country, and has also launched a programme to transfer cash via mobile phones to more than 100,000 people, allowing them to buy food on local markets.

In Zimbabwe, some 1.6 million vulnerable people face food shortages. While most of these are being assisted through food distributions, some 300,000 people are receiving cash to enable them buy their own cereals from local markets.

In Lesotho, WFP is working with the Government and other UN agencies to find longer-term solutions to the food crisis caused by two consecutive years of crop failures, while assisting more than 200,000 people in farming communities.

The current shortfall for WFP’s drought relief operation is $14 million for Malawi and $4 million for Lesotho.
Nov 30 2012 11:10AM

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gaza.Scoop: Another Israeli Attack On A Hospital

Israeli tanks attacked Al Aqsa hospital in Deir Al Balah, killing five patients and doctors, and injuring more than 70. More>>

ALSO:

MH17: Black Boxes Recovered by Malaysian Government

'Following the agreement Prime Minister Najib Razak brokered with rebel leaders, Malaysia has taken custody of flight MH17's black boxes. As the Prime Minister said, they will be passed to the international investigation team for analysis. More>>

ALSO:


Gaza Update On 15th Day Of The Israeli Offensive

Dozens of Palestinian Civilians Killed or Wounded as Israeli Forces Attack Apartment Buildings, Mosques, Hospitals and Schools; White Phosphorous Bombs and Flechette Shells Fired by Israeli Forces in Border Areas... More>>

Al Jazeera: Egypt Verdict Defies Logic And Any Semblance Of Justice

Following today’s verdict in Cairo, Al Jazeera English managing director Al Anstey said: “Today three colleagues and friends were sentenced, and will continue behind bars for doing a brilliant job of being great journalists. More>>

Papua New Guinea: Indonesian Troops Fire On PNG Soldiers Along Border

Indonesian troops have opened fire on a PNG Defence Force border patrol, increasing further tension at the Papua New Guinea-Indonesia border. The flare-up at the border compelled the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration to summon the Indonesian ... More>>

World News: Internet Well On Way To 3 Billion Users - UN Telecom Agency

Releasing new statistics today, the United Nations International Telecommunications Union (ITU) announced that by end 2014, there will be nearly three billion Internet users – two-thirds of them from the developing world – with mobile-broadband ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news