Climate crisis forces 52M Africans to face hunger


More than 52 million people in 18 African nations are facing hunger crisis due to weather extremes, poverty and armed conflicts, Oxfam said in a report Thursday.

They include Zimbabwe, Zambia, Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, Madagascar and Namibia.

Together they have suffered “average annual losses of $700m from climate-related disasters”, the report said.

“Communities at the frontline of this climate crisis are overstretched and may be facing potential annihilation. But local people are doing everything that can to overcome the challenge. There are unprecedented levels of organization happening where governments have let local people down,” Mithika Mwenda, chief executive of Oxfam’s partner PACJA, was quoted as saying in the report.

The report went on to say parts of southern Zimbabwe have had their lowest rainfall since 1981 which has pushed more than 5.5 million people into extreme food insecurity.

In Zambia, some 2.3 million people are food insecure as its maize-growing areas are decimated and exports are now banned, it added.

Drought has also hit the East and Horn of Africa particularly Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia, the report said.

“Record-breaking temperatures in the Indian Ocean have dumped ultra-heavy rainfalls into Kenya and South Sudan, causing flash-flooding, especially along major river arteries,” the report noted.

“South Sudan has declared a state of emergency with more than 900,000 people hit by floods,” it added.

Officials will meet at the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) in Durban, South Africa from Nov. 11-15 to discuss the future of Africa’s “environmental sustainability and prosperity”.
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