5 July 2013

Namibia: Food Production Severly Hit By Drought

Prolonged dry spells in Southern Africa have led to a food and water crisis in Namibia where the President has declared a national drought emergency.

Up to 331,000 people have been classified as food insecure which is 14% of the Namibian population as a result of the lowest seasonal rainfall since decades. The results of an Inter-Agency Emergency Food Security Assessment indicate that agricultural production will be very poor.

As it was the case in 2011 in the Horn of Africa, also this drought has the potential to result in a major disaster unless an early and effective response is initiated. The government of Namibia has allocated approximately two million USD to provide emergency food. However, besides the food crisis, the prolonged drought also has negative effects on potable water sources, employment, and triggers negative coping mechanisms.

The Lutheran World Federation/Department of World Service (LWF/DWS) together with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia (ELCRN) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN) carried out a five-day needs assessment. Based on the results of the assessment, and guided by humanitarian principles the eight-month appeal project will be implemented through ELCRN and ELCIN even in the difficult to reach & remote areas.

LWF is requesting USD470,526 to assist up to 4,060 people with the objectives to i) increase the availability of cash to meet basic needs, ii) diversify livelihoods and improve income for youth and women, iii) support vulnerable communities by providing psychosocial care, iv) strengthen the resilience and capacity of affected communities to respond to disasters, and v) to capacity build the community on advocacy.

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