Severe food insecurity alert for 45 million people across Southern Africa

epa07467505 A girl carries food after arriving from a boat from the city of Beira in the village of Buzi, after the passage of cyclone Idai, in the province of Sofala, central Mozambique, 27 March 2019. Reports state that some 1.7 million people are said to be affected across southern Africa. EPA-EFE/TIAGO PETINGA

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Forty-five million people in southern Africa are expected to face severe food insecurity in the next six months as the worst drought in decades continues to bite, the World Food Programme has warned.

In an attempt to boost aid efforts and international awareness ahead of the lean season, WFP said that the 16-nation region has seen normal rainfall in just one of the last five growing seasons.

On top of that, back-to-back cyclones and flooding have destroyed harvests and left communities even more vulnerable.

Nine countries are of particular concern: Angola, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia, Madagascar, Malawi, Namibia, Eswatini and Lesotho.

The agency’s Margaret Malu, who’s the acting Regional Director for Southern Africa, has called for help to meet the “emergency food and nutrition needs” of millions of people.

She also wants investment to help people withstand “ever more frequent and severe droughts, floods and storms”.

According to the International Panel on Climate Change, Southern Africa’s temperatures are rising at twice the global average.

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