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Southern Africa drought: FAO calls for assistance

Southern Africa drought: FAO calls for assistance

Humanitarian aid

The organization of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has launched an initiative to obtain an agricultural emergency fund to ten countries in southern Africa.

The call for help is for the purposes of solving a drought threatened by climate phenomenon El Nino.

“At least 109 million dollars are needed” to provide emergency seed, tools and fertilizer so that ten countries threatened by drought can “produce enough to feed themselves…,” the FAO said in a statement.

The FAO response plan covers potentially 23 million people in Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

“Farmers need to be able to plant by October, at the risk of exposing them to a smaller harvest in March 2017. This could severely affect food and nutritional security and livelihoods in the region,” it warned.

Two consecutive drought seasons, including this year the worst for 35 years, have particularly affected vulnerable families in rural areas.

There are over 640,000 deaths reported in livestock across the region.

The appeal of FAO funds follows a regional humanitarian appeal by the Southern African Development Community by the President of Botswana and SADC, Seretse Khama Ian Khama.

The FAO says it expects the impact of El Nino and the effects of the drought are expected to reach their peak by March 2017.