Drought in southwest Angola causes severe famine



Drought in southwest Angola causes severe famine

A migration of families to other provinces and neighboring Namibia in search of water and pasture for livestock has been recorded in the south of the country.

LUANDA, Angola, September 24, 2021 / APO Group / –

More than 1.3 million people in the three southwestern provinces of Cunene, Huila and Namibe face severe famine as the worst drought in 40 years leaves barren fields, dry pastures and depleted food reserves, according to a recent Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) analysis that categorizes food insecurity.

“The migration of families to other provinces and neighboring Namibia in search of water and pasture for livestock has been recorded in the south of the country,” said WFP Angola office chief Michele Mussoni. “These regions are suffering from the devastating effects of climate change and the current drought threatens the food security and nutrition of vulnerable people. “

High food prices and a locust infestation that have caused severe damage to crops are exacerbating the effects of drought, hampering people’s ability to access nutritious food. In the coming months, the situation is likely to worsen with the number of hungry people reaching 1.58 million between October and March 2022, the lean season when food stocks are traditionally low.

The drought has also affected 114,000 children under the age of five who are suffering or at risk of suffering from acute malnutrition over the next 12 months, with severe effects on their physical and mental development.

To support the drought response, WFP Angola has started working with the provincial authorities of Huila and Cunene to strengthen the treatment and prevention of acute malnutrition and is working to secure resources for further expansion towards other areas affected by drought. To extend nutrition activities to six affected provinces (Benguela, Cunene, Huambo, Huila, Kuanza Sul, Namibe) for the period from October 2021 to May 2022, WFP needs $ 6.3 million.

WFP assistance will be coordinated through the Inter-Ministerial Drought Task Force and will include support in nutrition, vulnerability analysis and mapping, supply chain and operations management. WFP will help the government to put in place food security and nutrition coordination mechanisms at the provincial level and is currently examining other support options, including food assistance.

WFP stresses the urgent need to support the government, at central and provincial levels, and to link emergency response actions with resilience and development interventions, in accordance with Angola’s National Development Plan.

The IPC analysis was carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries with technical assistance from FAO, UNICEF and WFP in 17 municipalities in southwestern Angola as part of the program FRESAN (Strengthening Food and Nutrition Resilience and Security in Angola) funded by the European Union. .

The full IPC analysis is available here.

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