WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Agency for International Development announced $127 million in additional humanitarian and recovery assistance to people affected by severe drought in Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Madagascar, Lesotho, and Swaziland. With this announcement, the United States has provided nearly $300 million in humanitarian assistance to the region. In addition, the United States has also provided development investments to mitigate the drought’s impacts and build resilience in Southern Africa.
This new humanitarian funding will be provided through UN and NGO partners to help address the needs of those affected by the drought, consistent with the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC)’s regional appeal for $2.4 billion in assistance that President Khama is officially launching in Botswana on July 26.
In Southern Africa, emergency needs due to the drought continue to increase. Triggered by El Niño and consecutive poor rainy seasons, the drought is eroding people’s ability to cope and threatening important development gains. Over 17 million people across Southern Africa are expected to face acute food insecurity. The drought’s impacts on food security, nutrition, water access, and treatment for those living with HIV will last well into 2017.
Mobilizing humanitarian assistance will be critical to save lives and reduce suffering. Our additional contribution will help meet growing needs by providing emergency food assistance, nutrition and health support, access to safe drinking water, and seeds ahead of the upcoming planting season to promote agricultural recovery. The United States also remains committed to supporting country-led efforts to build resilience to climate shocks and stresses in the region.
Since March 2015, the United States has mobilized an integrated response to El Niño globally that includes: mobilizing close to $1 billion in emergency assistance; activating emergency resources in resilience programs to mitigate impacts; and adjusting development efforts to accelerate recovery.
The United States commends other donors who have contributed to the Southern Africa drought response, and encourages others to join this international effort. Mobilizing a robust and coordinated global response will be critical to protect the region’s development gains and ensure early recovery.