Southern Africa is on the grip of a extreme drought – Madagascar


Nairobi, Kenya, 20 Might 2024 – The United Nations (UN) and its humanitarian companions at the moment urged for solidarity with drought-affected folks in Southern Africa and referred to as on the worldwide neighborhood to assist ramp up a well timed emergency response to drought within the area. Greater than 61 million folks in Southern Africa have been affected by drought and different excessive climate circumstances attributable to El Nino and worsened by the local weather disaster, together with probably the most intense mid-season dry spell in over 100 years.

The area is on the grip of a extreme drought with attainable catastrophic penalties except pressing motion is taken to avert additional deterioration earlier than the lean season in July. The UN and companions issued the decision after the Southern Africa Improvement Neighborhood (SADC) Extraordinary Summit held on 20 Might in Luanda, Angola to launch the SADC Humanitarian Attraction. The SADC plan is in search of $5.5 billion to help greater than 56.6 million folks with pressing multi-sector humanitarian help, together with 3.5 million youngsters in want of diet help.

The areas worst affected by the drought embody most of Zambia, Zimbabwe, southern Malawi, northern Namibia, south-eastern Angola, a lot of Botswana, Lesotho, central Mozambique, central South Africa, and components of Madagascar the place crop manufacturing, livestock and water provides have been impacted. Of those, three nations within the area, i.e., Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, have declared the drought a nationwide catastrophe with extra nations more likely to observe go well with. Heavy rains resulting from torrential rains and tropical storms/- cyclones have additionally induced flooding in Madagascar, Mozambique, Malawi, and Zambia displacing 1000’s of individuals, with Madagascar declaring a nationwide catastrophe resulting from Tropical Storm Gamane in March 2024.

The upcoming lean season may result in a major rise in meals insecurity and excessive ranges of acute malnutrition, whereas water shortage is affecting folks, livestock, and wildlife. Girls and kids face exacerbated dangers of discrimination, violence, abuse, and exploitation. Drought, floods, livelihood- and meals insecurity in addition to displacement might result in decreased entry to training and faculty drop-outs, leaving youngsters extra weak. The extreme drought can also be unfolding at a time when the area is grappling with one of many worst cholera outbreaks in a long time, meals costs are considerably rising in lots of drought-affected areas and HIV and gender-based violence stay essential challenges.

“This drought is hitting communities already enduring consecutive local weather and financial crises,” stated Reena Ghelani, the United Nations Local weather Disaster Coordinator for the El Niño/La Niña response. “Time is of the essence. Until the response is urgently scaled up, tens of millions of individuals within the area will face worsening ranges of acute meals insecurity, malnutrition, water shortage and numerous well being dangers. There’s a brief window of alternative to intervene upfront of the lean season in July.”

The launch of the SADC Humanitarian Attraction demonstrates management by Member States because it reinforces their dedication to successfully reply to shocks and shield affected inhabitants and mobilize assets for a well timed response. Humanitarian companions are supporting government-led efforts, together with by way of nationwide Flash Appeals. Nevertheless, a right away scale-up of the response is urgently required to avert large-scale lack of life within the interval forward.

Humanitarian companions are calling on donors to assist save lives and shield livelihoods, whereas enabling communities to construct resilience towards future shocks. Key priorities embody meals help, protected water for folks and animals, and agriculture inputs to capitalize on the improved rainfall more likely to be caused by the forecasted La Niña phenomenon.


This assertion is issued on behalf of the Regional Interagency Standing Committee (RIASCO). RIASCO is a regional inter-agency humanitarian coordination discussion board for Southern Africa and works with SADC and its member states to strengthen humanitarian coordination for efficient catastrophe danger administration. It additionally enhances the SADC’s position in its regional coordination with member states.

For extra data please contact:

OCHA Regional Workplace for Southern & Japanese Africa:
Tapiwa Gomo,;
Cell: +254786633633
Workplace of the United Nations Local weather Disaster Coordinator – El Niño / La Niña:
Priscilla Lecomte,
Cell: + 254 794 32 10 34


UN Workplace for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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