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

 

Hunger Threatening 1.7 Million Zambians

With Hunger Threatening 1.7 Million Zambians, Un Agency Appeals For Funding

The lives of many Zambians could be in peril with the number of people needing food assistance climbing to at least 1.7 million due to crop failure and rising food prices, the United Nations World Food Programme warned today in an urgent appeal for more funds.

“The situation is deteriorating rapidly and WFP simply does not have the funding to respond to any increase in needs - we are already struggling to meet our current commitments,” WFP Country Director David Stevenson said.

“We need cash donations urgently to enable us to buy food in the region. This is now our only chance before the full ferocity of the lean season takes its toll,” he added, stressing that WFP needs $32.8 million to feed up to 1.1 million Zambians through to the next harvest in March.

Preliminary results of the southern African country's Vulnerability Assessment Committee (VAC) this week increased the total of people in need to at least 1.7 million because of the rocketing maize prices, which have risen by up to 60 per cent from a year ago, pushing this basic cereal beyond the reach of the poorest people.

The situation is considered so serious that the Government of Zambia yesterday launched an appeal to international donors to help scale up humanitarian relief programmes with urgent food assistance.

The current crisis is further exacerbated by high HIV/AIDS prevalence rates with one in five Zambians infected by the virus. Life expectancy has fallen to a mere 37 years while agricultural production at household levels has been crippled because people are either too sick to work or families are forced to spend meagre assets on medicines.

“Villages are on the brink of widespread starvation - there is no maize, wild foods are exhausted, and there’s very little food aid on the way for the next six months unless the international community steps in now with cash to stave off a humanitarian catastrophe,” Mr. Stevenson said.

“We have a limited amount of time to buy food in the region and get it to the hungriest before the harshest months of the lean season. The time to act is now.”

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


UN News: Monkeypox Outbreak Can Still Be Contained, Insists UN Health Agency
The monkeypox outbreak that has been reported in 16 countries and several regions of the world can still be contained and the overall risk of transmission is low, the UN health agency said on Tuesday...
More>>


UN: “COVID-19 Is Not Over”, Tedros Warns World Health Assembly
The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) told global health Ministers on Sunday that although reported COVID-19 cases and deaths have declined significantly, it is not time to lower the guard... More>>



UN: Bachelet Calls On Mexico To Step Up Efforts As Tragic Milestone Reached Of More Than 100,000 Disappearances

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Tuesday called on the Mexican authorities to step up efforts to ensure truth and justice for victims of disappearances, who now number more than 100,000, according to official data... More>>


Access Now: Elon Musk’s Twitter Buyout Must Not Come At The Expense Of Human Rights

Following today’s announcement that Elon Musk will acquire complete ownership of Twitter in a cash sale of around 44 billion USD, pending shareholder approval, Access Now urges Twitter’s Board, employees, and shareholders... More>>



UN: Biodiversity And Ecosystem Protection Highlighted On Mother Earth Day

Marking International Mother Earth Day, UN General Assembly President Abdulla Shahid urged on Friday, for collective action to safeguard biodiversity and protect ecosystems... More>>

Ukraine: Hundreds More Reach Safety After Fleeing Besieged Mariupol
In Ukraine, humanitarians said on Wednesday that hundreds of people have managed to reach safety after fleeing Mariupol, where there’s also been condemnation for the killing of Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravicius... More>>