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Famine looming: 45m Southern Africans – an all-time record – need food aid

20 January 2020 9:49 AM
Tags:
Zambia
Zimbabwe
Hunger
Mozambique
UN World Food Programme
Malawi
Namibia
Lesotho
Madagascar
Food insecurity
famine
southern Africa
eSwatini
Abongile Nzelenzele
Gerald Bourke

"It’s millions! It’s millions! The next stage… is famine," warns Gerald Bourke, a spokesperson for the UN World Food Programme.

Day in and day out, nearly half of Zimbabwe’s entire population of 15 million people do not know where the next meal will come from, according to the United Nations (UN).

About 2.2 million people living in the cities are chronically food insecure while about 5 million rural Zimbabweans are always hungry.

About 45 million Southern Africans – and all-time record – need food aid, says the UN.

And, it’s going to get worse.

A mother of twins collects her family's monthly food aid ration from the United Nations World Food Programme in Malawi. Picture: EPA/ JON HRUSA.

The primary cause of the unprecedented hunger across Southern Africa is climate change. The region has had one normal rainy season in the last five years. Temperatures are rising at twice the global average. The forecasters are saying that, in the runup to the next main harvest in April/May, it’s going to continue to be exceptionally hot and exceptionally dry. So, the prospects are for another poor harvest this year.

Gerald Bourke, spokesperson – UN World Food Programme

The worst-hit countries are Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Abongile Nzelenzele commented on the food-crisis and played an audio clip in which Gerald Bourke, a spokesperson for the UN World Food Programme, shared his fears.

It’s millions! It’s millions! The next stage… is famine.

Gerald Bourke, spokesperson – UN World Food Programme

There’s been so much drought and flooding… We’re finding it tough to procure food for the region for our operation in Africa…

Gerald Bourke, spokesperson – UN World Food Programme

For more detail, listen to the audio below (or watch an eNCA clip beneath the audio).


20 January 2020 9:49 AM
Tags:
Zambia
Zimbabwe
Hunger
Mozambique
UN World Food Programme
Malawi
Namibia
Lesotho
Madagascar
Food insecurity
famine
southern Africa
eSwatini
Abongile Nzelenzele
Gerald Bourke

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