from SAMBULO DLAMINI in Mbabane, Eswatini
MBABANE, (CAJ News) – MORE than 347 000 people in Eswatini are facing acute food shortages and need urgent humanitarian assistance.
This includes 180 000 children.
The overall figure includes nearly 60 000 people experiencing emergency levels of hunger, meaning that without immediate action, they could face starvation or even death.
Eswatini, the tiny Southern African nation has experienced a rapid deterioration in food availability over past months due to COVID-19-related job losses, high food prices and erratic rainfall leading to a poor harvest at the end of 2020.
“The situation in Eswatini has been rapidly deteriorating and it’s finally reached a tipping point,” said Save the Children’s Executive Director in Eswatini, Dumisani Mnisi.
He said a third of the country was going hungry, and hundreds of thousands of children were suffering as a result and many of them had seen their parents lose jobs as the result of COVID-19 mitigation measures.
Others have seen their harvests affected by erratic weather in 2020.
“The combination has led to needs like we have never seen in recent memory. We are calling on the international community for support as we rally together to face this challenge,” Mnisi said.
The latest figures show that 31 percent of the population is now suffering from the food crisis, a markedly worse situation than the last hunger assessment in 2019, when 18 percent of the population was experiencing severe hunger.
– CAJ News