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Drought In Namibia Leaves Roughly One-Third Of Country’s Population Food Insecure

“Namibia’s worst drought in three decades has left roughly one-third of the country’s population moderately or severely food insecure,” according to UNICEF, Nature World News reports (Kemsley, 8/12). “According to the country’s Directorate for Disaster Risk Management, all 13 regions have been affected by the drought, with major shortages of water, both for humans and animals, and food,” the U.N. News Centre notes (8/12). “Bearing the brunt of the burden are women and children, [UNICEF] explains, as many are forced to sell their livestock and migrate to the cities in search for work as the summer rains have failed to flood the country’s plains for the second year in a row,” Nature World News writes. “Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba declared a state of emergency as early as May, explaining that crop yields were expected to come in around 50 percent below average due to the dry weather,” the news service continues (8/12). “Following the emergency declaration, the government allocated 200 million Namibian dollars ($20.1 million) to the drought response, but [Hellen Likanda, deputy director of the Directorate of Disaster Risk Management, which is coordinating the drought response,] said that more funding was needed and that the government was currently drafting a gap analysis that would be used to appeal to international donors to help meet the shortfall,” IRIN reports, noting UNICEF “has launched its own appeal to raise $7.4 million to respond to the needs of women and children while the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is appealing for $1.48 million” (8/12). BBC News provides a slideshow of photos from the country (8/12).