Global Disasters/ Significant Events – Feb. 17, 2016
Posted by feww on February 17, 2016
One million children require treatment for severe acute malnutrition in Eastern and Southern Africa: UNICEF
Two years of erratic rain and drought have left about one million children in need of treatment for severe acute malnutrition in Eastern and Southern Africa, UNICEF said today.
Across the region, millions of children are at risk from hunger, water shortages and disease. It is a situation aggravated by rising food prices, forcing families to implement drastic coping mechanisms such as skipping meals and selling off assets.
States of disaster have been declared in Lesotho, Zimbabwe and most provinces in South Africa due to the growing resource shortages.
“In Ethiopia, the number of people in need of food assistance is expected to increase from over 10 million to 18 million.”
- In Ethiopia, two seasons of failed rains mean that near on six million children currently require food assistance, with school absenteeism increasing as children are forced to walk greater distances in search of water;
- In Somalia, more than two thirds of those in urgent need of assistance are displaced populations;
- In Kenya, El Niño related heavy rains and floods are aggravating cholera outbreaks;
- In Lesotho, one quarter of the population are affected. This aggravates grave circumstances for a country in which 34% of children are orphans, 57% of people live below the poverty line, and almost one in four adults live with HIV/Aids;
- In Zimbabwe, an estimated 2.8 million people are facing food and nutrition insecurity. The drought situation has resulted in reduced water yields from the few functioning boreholes exacerbating the risk to water-borne diseases, especially diarrhea and cholera;
- Malawi is facing the worst food crisis in nine years, with 2.8 million people (more than 15 per cent of the population) at risk of hunger; cases of severe acute malnutrition have just jumped by 100% in just two months, from December 2015 to January 2016;
- In Angola, an estimated 1.4 million people are affected by extreme weather conditions and 800,000 people are facing food insecurity, mainly in the semi-arid southern provinces.
Meanwhile, the U.N. World Food Program (WFP) said up to 49 million people in southern Africa.
“It is estimated that 40 million rural people and 9 million poor urban people who live in drought-affected areas could be exposed,” the WFP said on Monday.