Harare – The Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has launched an urgent call for assistance for southern Africa which has been hit by a series of climate disasters since the start of the year that have upended the lives of millions of people.
Between January & March 2023, Tropical Cyclone Freddy – the most energetic cyclone to ever be recorded – & Tropical Storm Cheneso battered Malawi, Madagascar & Mozambique. At the same time, Zambia experienced destructive storms & torrential rains that resulted in severe flooding.
Critical social & economic infrastructure, fisheries equipment, livestock & hundreds of thousands of hectares of crops have been lost. Flooding also increased the movement of livestock & wild animals, triggering outbreaks of transboundary animal diseases. Overall, nearly 10 million people have been affected across the region.
“The food security & rural livelihoods of some of the most vulnerable people in the region have been severely jeopardized,” said FAO Sub-regional Coordinator for Southern Africa, Patrice Talla. “A scaled‑up & sustained emergency response is needed to enable people to pick themselves up & resume agricultural production,” he said.
FAO is requesting USD 247 million to support 2.5 million of the most vulnerable people in Malawi, Madagascar, Mozambique & Zambia struck by these climate shocks. Support will focus on restoring agricultural, fish & livestock production, along with conducting needs assessments & analyses to support a coordinated, scaled-up response.
FAO’s emergency response is outlined in a new publication launched today, the Subregional southern Africa: Climate hazards – Urgent call for assistance.
In the southern African region, more than 70 percent of the rural population depends on agriculture for their livelihoods.
Subregional Southern Africa – Climate hazards: Urgent call for assistance
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