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Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

WFP Needs $400 Million to Feed Mln in Southern Africa


Thu 23 May 2024 | 08:35 AM
Israa Farhan

The World Food Programme (WFP) announced on Wednesday that it urgently requires $400 million to provide food assistance to millions of people in Southern Africa who are facing severe hunger due to drought conditions exacerbated by the El Niño phenomenon.

Tomson Phiri, a spokesperson for the WFP, highlighted the critical need for immediate funding to support drought relief efforts in Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Malawi.

The region has seen a significant reduction in crop yields due to the drought, affecting about 4.8 million people.

El Niño, a climate phenomenon that disrupts wind patterns and raises temperatures in parts of the Pacific Ocean, has drastically reduced rainfall levels, severely impacting agricultural production.

Phiri noted that about 70% of the population in Southern Africa relies on rain-fed agriculture, and the lack of rainfall has devastated their crops.

The WFP is also providing cash payments to communities struggling with hunger, aiming to purchase grains from international markets to meet the urgent needs.

In August, the WFP spent $14 million to support communities in Lesotho, Madagascar, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.

Successive droughts in the region have led to dwindling grain reserves, forcing affected countries like Zimbabwe to import grains to combat food shortages.

A consortium of private millers in Zimbabwe plans to import 1.4 million tons of maize from Brazil, Argentina, and other countries to address the crisis.

Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube announced that the government will secure $32 million in drought relief insurance from the African Union's climate agency.

This funding will be partially distributed as cash to vulnerable communities and used by humanitarian agencies to purchase necessary food supplies.