JOHANNESBURG (AP) — An estimated 45 million people are threatened with hunger by a severe drought strangling wide stretches of southern Africa.
Emergency food deliveries are planned for parts of South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and other countries hard hit by a combination of low rainfall and high temperatures.
“We are witnessing millions of already poor people facing extreme food insecurity and exhausting their reserves because of compounding climate shocks that hit already vulnerable communities hardest. They need help urgently,” said Nellie Nyang’wa, southern Africa director for the international aid agency, Oxfam.
“The scale of the drought devastation across southern Africa
Parts of Zimbabwe have had the lowest rainfall since 1981, contributing to making more than 5.5 million at risk of extreme food insecurity, Oxfam said in a report released Thursday.
Zambia’s rich maize-growing area has been hit hard and exports are now banned; 2.3 million people there are food-insecure, according to Oxfam and the Zambia Red Cross. The drought is also worsening food availability in Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, Madagascar and Namibia, Oxfam said.