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Mozambique drought leaves 1.5 million people needing help

Mozambique drought leaves 1.5 million people needing help

Mozambique

In Mozambique, at least 1.5 million people are in need of help because of an El Niño-induced drought, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has said.

The UN humanitarian agency disclosed that El Nino, the harsh weather phenomenon – characterized by warmer sea temperatures that can cause extreme climatic conditions – is credited with causing disastrous growing conditions in the southern African country.

As a result, some 95,000 children are or will be malnourished in coming months.

The people who are mainly affected are rural populations, they grow mainly rain-fed crops, cassava, maize, millet, rice, beans, so there is a direct link between El Niño and the face that they are in very dire straits at the moment.

OCHA’s spokesperson Jens Laerke in an interview with UN radio said; “The people who are mainly affected are rural populations, these are farmers; they grow mainly rain-fed crops, cassava, maize, millet, rice, beans, so there is a direct link between El Niño and the face that they are in very dire straits at the moment.”

According to OCHA, the southern African nation’s humanitarian response plan has received a paltry $13 million out of an expected $200 million.

In 1997 to 1998 the Southern African nation experienced a similar El Nino episode. Crop yields were destroyed and livestock killed prompting many to leave their homes.

“The El Niño of 1997-1998 was the worst in modern records for Zimbabwe. It left swaths of the low level underwater and killed a number of people. It also triggered widespread waterborne disease outbreaks,” an earlier statement from UNICEF read.