Drought and floods threaten ‘humanitarian disaster’ across southern Africa

Drought has destroyed crops in areas where 70% of the population depends on agriculture for survival.

CEO McCain said what she witnessed was both alarming and heartbreaking.

“I met farmers who often grew enough to feed their families and communities. This year they did not harvest anything. Now imagine a similar scenario happening to millions of people across South Africa and we have a humanitarian disaster,” Ms. McCain said.

impact of El Nino

Although the latest El Niño weather pattern is coming to an end, the drought caused by the changing weather cycle will have consequences for months to come.

Sharp increases in temperatures led to the driest February in decades in the causing area Rainfall decreased by 20% necessary for plant growth.

Based on WFPZambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi were the worst affected and all were declared to have catastrophic droughts. They are at significant risk of crop failure with 40 and 80% of corn production lost.

‘Step up now’: McCain

Aware that 61 million people are affected by El Niño, Heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) at the Extraordinary Summit launched a humanitarian appeal worth 5 .5 billion USD to supplement the internal resources of affected countries.

The group is calling for support to meet these humanitarian needs. Mrs. McCain repeated her call for support.

I am asking the international community to join us and move forward now. We cannot ask millions of people to wait until the next harvest season – another year – to put food on their tables. These families need our support today as we help build a more resilient future,” she said.

Huge funding shortage

Although WFP has responded to this crisis, the program still needs $409 million for six months of aid to benefit 4.8 million people in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

WFP has worked with governments and partners to help communities prepare for climate disasters before they happen. WFP “has released more than $14 million in projected financing” to support more than 1.2 million people expected to be affected by El Niño by August 2023.

They have also provided support to communities in Lesotho, Madagascar, Mozambique and Zimbabwe by providing early warning ABOVE

“weather risks, expected cash transfers, drought-resistant seeds, agricultural training and water resource improvements.”

WFP continues to work with governments to protect communities affected by climate shocks, and in just a few weeks, WFP will distribute approximately $10 million in insurance proceeds to nearly 280,000 people affected in next six months.

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