The European Commission have announced the distribution of €22.8m to help address food shortages in Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The European Commission is organising a humanitarian aid package, of €22.8m, to help address emergency food needs and support vulnerable people in Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The funding is being given due to large parts of southern Africa currently being in their harshest drought in decades.
“Many poor households in drought-affected areas in southern African countries are struggling to have enough food due to crop failure, reduced access to water and, in some places, unaffordable food prices in markets.
“EU humanitarian aid will help deliver food to those most in need and tackle the hunger crisis in fragile rural communities,” said Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management.
€16.8m from this aid will boost food and nutrition support in Zimbabwe. The funding will also improve access to health care, clean water and providing protection to vulnerable people. The remaining amount will be channelled to providing food assistance and nutrition support in Eswatini, Madagascar, Lesotho and Zambia.
The Southern Africa and Indian Ocean region is prone to natural disasters and oscillates between droughts and floods that are destroying harvests and further weakening fragile communities.
Since January 2019, the EU has allocated a total of €67.95m for humanitarian assistance across the region. The bulk of this funding went for emergency relief assistance in the wake of natural disasters (cyclones Idai and Kenneth), food assistance, and helping at-risk communities equip themselves better to face climate-related disasters.
12 million people in the region are at risk of hunger because of extended periods of below-average rainfall, interspersed with floods, on top of the economic challenges that some countries in the region are grappling with. In Zimbabwe, half of the country’s population are at the risk of facing severe hunger, placing Zimbabwe among the states facing one of the worst food crises in the world.