UN food agency appeals for more donations to fight starvation in southern Africa
Warning of worsening hunger and starvation for millions of people in southern Africa, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today appealed for more donations in order to stave off the impending humanitarian disaster.
“Throughout the region people are walking a thin tightrope between life and death,” said WFP Executive Director James Morris. “The combination of widespread hunger, chronic poverty and the HIV/AIDS pandemic is devastating and may soon lead to a catastrophe. Policy failures and mismanagement have only exacerbated an already serious situation.”
WFP has been urging donors to respond rapidly to its $507 million appeal to feed 10.2 million people in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Lesotho and Swaziland.
Today, Mr. Morris announced that the United States Government has donated $98 million, the equivalent to 195,850 tons of food. Even with the US contribution, however, the UN agency said it still faced a shortfall of 39,000 tons to feed people in July and August, without taking into account the 320,000 tons of food needed to pre-position stocks ahead of the rainy season in October, which renders parts of the region inaccessible.
The Executive Director also expressed gratitude to the Governments of Norway, the United Kingdom, Canada and the Netherlands for their recent cash donations.