UN Office expresses concern over El Nino impact in Southern Africa

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The United Nations (UN) Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has expressed concern about the continued impact brought on by the El Nino weather phenomenon in the Southern Africa region.

Three countries have since declared states of emergency, the latest being Zimbabwe.

Authorities in Zimbabwe say almost 2.7 million people are facing food insecurity as a result.

The UN says a humanitarian response plan for Zimbabwe is being finalised.

UN Secretary-General’s Spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric says, “Colleagues say they are concerned over the impact of drought brought about by El Nino, which, last week prompted the third country in the region, Zimbabwe, to declare a state of emergency. That follows decisions taken by the Zambian and the governments of Malawi.”

Dujarric says, “Authorities in Zimbabwe say that more than 2.7 million people in the country are facing food insecurity as a result, despite the governments and humanitarian partners’ investment in programs meant to head off the worst impacts of the drought.”

“The humanitarian community in Zimbabwe is also concerned that the scarcity and depletion of safe water resources could lead to an uptick in communicable diseases. We and our partners stand ready to scale up life-saving assistance in Zimbabwe. But the need but we need adequate funding to do so. Appeal for the humanitarian response to the drought in the country is being finalized and will be launched soon.”

VIDEO: UN concerned about impact of El Nino weather phenomenon in SADC region: