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UN: “Mozambique Among the Most Affected by Severe Drought in Southern Africa”

UN: “Mozambique Among the Most Affected by Severe Drought in Southern Africa”

Mozambique is facing a severe drought that threatens the lives of millions of people, according to a recent report by the United Nations (UN). The devastating impact of this drought affects not only Mozambique, but also other southern African countries such as Angola, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The World Food Programme (WFP) has warned that more than 30 million people in the region are being affected, as reported by Lusa.

According to the report quoted by the media organisation, in Mozambique, the drought is causing serious food security problems. “The country, which depends heavily on rainfed agriculture, has seen a significant drop in agricultural production due to the lack of rainfall. According to the WFP, the region recorded the driest February in the last 100 years, receiving only 20 per cent of the usual rainfall expected for this period, which coincided with the crucial time for crop growth,’ reads the note.

The document explains that the El Niño phenomenon, which began globally in July 2023, caused a serious rainfall deficit throughout southern Africa, with temperatures five degrees above average. ‘In Mozambique, this phenomenon exacerbated already existing vulnerabilities, where levels of food insecurity and humanitarian need were already high, due to socio-economic challenges and high food prices,’ it adds.

The WFP’s Deputy Regional Director for Southern Africa, Adeyinka Badejo, emphasised that ‘El Niño may be ending, but its impacts are far from over. This situation has serious implications for Mozambican children, who are at risk of abuse, displacement, hunger and diseases such as cholera. Droughts and floods also have a knock-on effect on access to education, leaving children vulnerable to child labour and child marriage,’ warned Adeyinka Badejo.

For his part, the sub-regional coordinator for Southern Africa at the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Patrice Talla, said that assessments were underway to understand the impact of the drought on agricultural production on the continent, including in Mozambique. ‘With an expected deficit in agricultural production, especially maize, farmers’ incomes will decrease. In addition, rising food prices will leave farmers with less money to invest in seeds, fertilisers and equipment, all of which are crucial to maintaining and increasing production levels in the future,’ he explained.

The report argues that the climate crisis is severely damaging the country, ‘which now needs urgent assistance to prevent millions of people from being pushed into acute hunger,’ it explains, noting that the UN, along with partners including non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and humanitarians, is supporting national and regional response efforts. According to the Lusa report, ‘during a briefing on the emergency in southern Africa, held in Pretoria, South Africa, an appeal was made to mobilise large-scale support before the next dry season’.

The report describes that the situation in Mozambique is a reflection of the wider impact of the drought in southern Africa. ‘Angola, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe are also facing this crisis, and four of these countries – Namibia, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe – have already declared a state of emergency due to the climatic context,’ reads the document.


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