UN ENVOY SAYS 200 MLN USD NEEDED TO HELP DROUGHT VICTIMS IN MOZAMBIQUE

The Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for the El Nino phenomenon and for climate change, Macharia Kamau, has declared that more than 200 million US dollars are needed for an immediate response to the drought crisis in southern and central Mozambique.

Kamau visited Mozambique for four days this week, touring drought-stricken districts, and speaking with senior Mozambican officials, including President Filipe Nyusi. About 1.5 million people are affected by the drought, which is linked to the El Nino weather phenomenon.

A statement issued by the World Food Programme (WFP) received here Friday quoted Kamau as saying as he left Mozambique that “humanitarian assistance needs to be urgently expanded and we need robust plans to reach those who are in need”.

Kamau noted that, of the 200 million USD needed, only 57 per cent had so far been guaranteed. “We need more, so that we can provide food, water, healthcare, nutrition and other emergency services for Mozambicans,” he said.

“But we have to understand that the climate is rapidly changing, and we must change with it. We cannot go back to business as usual when this emergency passes. We cannot solve today’s problems with yesterday’s solutions.”

He called for “long-term and sustainable solutions in a context in which weather events such as El Nino are increasing in frequency and seriousness”.

Unlike floods or cyclones, said Kamau, “the trail of devastation left by drought can last for years”. Some districts in Mozambique have not had rain for three years, he noted.

He said his visit to Magude district, in Maputo province, “was a real wake-up call”. He had seen the dry and withered fields, carcasses of animals, and desolate people. “The people are suffering from lack of food and water, lack of education and lack of prospects. We must do better for them,” he added.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK.