Lesotho + 5 more

13 million face starvation in southern Africa

News and Press Release
Originally published
From Federation News 12/02
The food crisis in southern Africa deepens each and every day as it becomes clearer that maize production in the region will be seriously reduced due to erratic rainfall and lengthy dry spells during the planting season. A UN World Food Programme/Food and Agriculture Organisation (WFP/FAO) assessment mission in May revealed that 13 million people in Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe may face starvation if aid does not reach them soon. The situation is gravest in Zimbabwe, where 6 million people are estimated to be in need of food assistance. Most have some access to food, as the harvest season is just over, although the poorest have resorted to gathering wild fruits in order to survive. The Red Cross in the worst affected countries have mobilized volunteers and are preparing to participate in food distributions. The Zambia Red Cross is already carrying out distributions in 10 districts in partnership with WFP, and the Malawi Red Cross will distribute aid in partnership with USAID and WFP. The Zimbabwe Red Cross is increasing food aid for its HIV/AIDS home based care programme, aiming to feed some 100,000 people affected by the virus. A regional Red Cross assessment team has finalized its mission to Lesotho and an appeal will be launched in the coming days.