Immediate Response Required to Save Lives
The Food & Agricultural Organization (FAO) has just launched an urgent appeal for more funds to stave off a worsening hunger crisis in drought-hit southern Africa. Poor harvest in the region’s worst drought in 35 years means that many families ran out of food in August.
Nearly 40 million of the region’s 277 million inhabitants are said to be affected by the El Nino-induced drought, with at least 35 million of them reported to be in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.
After the drought disaster declaration in six countries, the U.S. has launched a 2.4 billion appeal to help the most vulnerable of the population. Countries included in the disaster declaration are Zimbabwe, Malawi, Swaziland, Botswana, Lesotho, and Namibia. South Africa and Mozambique have declared partial emergencies. In Zimbabwe alone, an estimated five million people could require humanitarian food assistance by March 2017, much of it in rural areas where 70% of the population lives.
Because of the drought, Zimbabwe officials report over 3,000 cows have died in the last five months. Lack of water and food are creating challenges for both people and animals. Hunger is driving some people to eat their seed, rather than saving it to plant. The situation is critical. An immediate response is required to save lives. To donate the Healing Hands International Planting Seeds Saving Lives campaign go to our website www.hhi.org/pssl.