SADC to ap­peal for drought aid re­lief

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - LIFE -

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

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