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SADC seeks $5.5 billion for drought resilience in Southern Africa

As drought ravages southern Africa, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is launching an unprecedented appeal for $5.5 billion to help more than 61 million people affected by the crisis. This initiative, launched by the President of Angola and Chairman of SADC, João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço, is aimed at mitigating the devastating effects of the drought and floods affecting the region.
The exceptional drought affecting southern Africa has reached alarming proportions, with record temperatures caused by the El Niño climatic phenomenon. Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe have already declared a state of national disaster, while harvests are at an all-time low, threatening the food security of millions of people.
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), nearly 16 million people are suffering from hunger, while half of the region’s staple maize crop has been lost. In addition, low water levels in hydraulic dams are causing electricity shortages, seriously affecting economic sectors such as mining.
In response to this humanitarian crisis, SADC has launched an appeal for $5.5 billion to support the affected populations. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has pledged $33 million, while the FAO has pledged $10 million.
This initiative, developed in collaboration with regional and international partners, aims to strengthen the national resources of affected Member States and mobilise additional funds to meet the urgent needs of vulnerable populations.
The climate crisis in southern Africa underlines the urgency of taking action to mitigate the effects of climate change and strengthen the resilience of the populations most affected. SADC’s call for funds is an important step in this direction, but collective and coordinated action on a global scale is needed to address this growing crisis and protect vulnerable populations from its devastating effects.
                                                                                                                                                                                          Fanta Mabo

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