SADC to appeal for drought aid relief
GABORONE: Southern Africa Development Community ( SADC) chairman and Botswana president Seretse Khama Ian Khama will early next week declare the 2015/2016 regional drought a state of disaster and appeal for humanitarian aid to save more than 23 million people from imminent starvation. The SADC said the state of disaster arose from poor harvests caused by the El Nino-induced drought which resulted in massive crop losses in the 2015/2016 farming season. Khama would appeal for global humanitarian and drought relief aid worth $2.7 billion (R38.7bn) to cover urgent needs and strengthen social safety nets. Although the drought directly affected the lives and livelihoods of more than 40 million people across the region, millions in Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe needed immediate food aid.
Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe have already declared national drought emergencies. South Africa has declared a drought emergency in eight of the country’s nine provinces, while Mozambique has declared a 90day institutional red alert for some southern and central areas. – ANA