HARARE (Zimbabwe) More than 9,6 million people are food insecure in the
Southern African region following droughts mostly in Malawi and Zimbabwe.
The situation is dire amid at least an 80 percent chance of an El Niño
phenomenon until December 2018, which coincides with the lean season in
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of
Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), Malawi now has an estimated 3,3 million
people in crisis or emergency.
Zimbabwe has nearly 2,4 million people facing similar shortages.
There are also pockets of people facing emergency food insecurity in
Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Lesotho and Mozambique.
Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe have been
identified as the six highest-risk countries following fears of a
recurrence of the El Niño.
It is generally associated with below-average rain in parts of Southern
UNOCHA warned rising levels of food insecurity were increasing protection
risks, particularly for women and children.
The agency stated erratic rains were already affecting vulnerable families
who are traveling long distances in search of alternative livelihoods.
“This exposes women, in particular, to a heightened risk of gender-based
violence,” a UN spokesperson said.
It is feared food insecurity could cause people to stop taking
antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, as one of the side effects of the drugs is
increased feelings of hunger.
The Southern Africa region includes Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Eswatini,
Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles,
South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
– CAJ News