FAO, Unicef tackle climate change, humanitarian crises

THE Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) have announced a joint call for action to address the impact of climate change and deepening humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe and other southern African countries.

BY NQOBANI NDLOVU

Estimates from government and other food monitoring agencies say seven million face hunger in Zimbabwe owing to the El Nino-induced drought.

FAO and Unicef said more than 11 million people in Zimbabwe and other southern African countries were now experiencing crisis or emergency levels of food insecurity due to the recurrent droughts and climate crisis.

“If urgent humanitarian action is not taken, the number will likely rise in the coming months, according to the Regional Interagency Standing Committee Africa. In Zimbabwe, 3,58 million people are in Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) or Phase 4 (Emergency,” the UN organs said in a report released on Thursday.

“Climate change is a central force driving a continued rise in global hunger, with both droughts and flooding negatively impacting food production. Evidence shows that children suffer disproportionately from the impact of climate change. In fragile States and low-income communities, including in southern Africa, the poor and marginalised will be most affected. Persons in low-income quintiles of society – and particularly children, women and the elderly who are less capable of coping with the negative effects of climate change – will be the most severely affected.”

The UN organs said in Zimbabwe, national global acute malnutrition (GAM) has risen to 3,6%, up from 2,5% in 2018 “and eight districts have GAM rates of above 5%, which is rarely seen in Zimbabwe and signifies a deteriorating situation”.

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