from PEDRO AGOSTO in Luanda, Angola
LUANDA, (CAJ News) – MORE than 1,3 million people in south-west Angola are facing severe hunger as the country battles its worst drought in 40 years.
This has forced some strained families in the three worst affected states to migrate to other provinces and neighbouring Namibia in search of water and grazing for cattle.
The provinces of Cunene, Huila and Namibe are bearing the brunt of the drought that has left fields barren, pasture lands dry and food reserves depleted.
“These areas have been suffering from the devastating effects of climate change and the current drought puts the food security and nutrition of vulnerable people under threat,” said Michele Mussoni, World Food Programme Head of Office in Angola.
The agency reported that high food prices and a locust infestation that has caused severe damage to crops are compounding the effects of the drought, hampering people’s ability to access nutritious food.
The situation is likely to worsen with the number of hungry people expected to reach 1,58 million between October 2021 and March 2022.
The drought has also impacted 114 000 children under the age of five who are suffering or likely to suffer from acute malnutrition in the next 12 months, with serious effects on their physical and mental development.
WFP is working with provincial authorities of Huila and Cunene to strengthen the treatment and prevention of acute malnutrition and is working to secure resources for further expansion to other drought-affected areas.
The United Nations’ food arm seeks to expand nutrition activities to six other affected provinces comprising Benguela, Cunene, Huambo, Huila, Kuanza Sul, Namibe- for the period from October 2021 to May 2022.
WFP requires a total amount of US$ 6,3 million to ensure the displaced people were saved from starvation.
– CAJ News