Food insecurity in Cabo Delgado, a province in northern Mozambique that is the scene of armed attacks, was highlighted today as one of the most “worrying” situations in southern Africa by the regional director of the World Food Program (WFP), Lola Castro.
Food shortages have reached “particularly worrying” levels and the province has become a “strong priority”, he said during a press conference with foreign correspondents in South Africa, cited by international information agencies.
“Aid is not always able to reach some districts in the northeast” and WFP tries to find alternatives to “reach the inaccessible” and provide them with “food aid, shelter and protection”, he said.
Cabo Delgado has faced attacks by armed groups for three years that have killed more than 1,000 people and 250,000 displaced people, of whom WFP supported 195,000 in July, according to data from that United Nations agency.
In the same month, WFP supported another 165,000 people in the rest of the country, due to the effects of weather conditions.
Southern Africa is witnessing, “year after year, droughts, floods or cyclones”, as happened last year, when cyclones Idai and Kenneth hit Mozambique and other countries in the region.
“Covid-19 was an additional shock for which we were obviously not prepared,” he added.
In addition to Mozambique, on the map of Southern Africa, the official highlighted the serious situation in Zimbabwe, a country with 16 million inhabitants and with the worst food shortage statistics, with about 4.3 million people in urgent need of help.
The context common to neighboring countries is aggravated by a prolonged socio-economic crisis.
Lola Castro said that across southern Africa, between the next few months and 2021, food insecurity can reach levels “that have not been seen for several years”, reaching 44.8 million people (compared with 41.2 in the year past) mainly due to drought and economic difficulties linked to the pandemic caused by the new coronavirus.
Mozambique records an accumulated total of 4,557 cases of covid-19, with 2,697 recovered and 27 dead.
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