More than 200,000 people in Swaziland / eSwatini which is one in five of the rural population are experiencing severe food shortages and require urgent humanitarian assistance, a report published on Tuesday (2 July 2019) stated.
And, hunger has got worse since last year. There are about 157,000 people in a 'crisis situation' and another 47,000 in an 'emergency situation'.
The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) snapshot for the period up to March 2020 stated, 'In comparison with last year, the situation has deteriorated.' It added, 'This deterioration can be attributed to the anticipated drought, which led to farmers choosing not to plant their fields, reducing casual labour opportunities and food availability, with one-fifth of households depleting their assets or engaging in crisis or emergency coping strategies to mitigate moderate to large food gaps.
'Between October 2019 and March 2020, around 232,000 people (25 percent of the rural population) are estimated that they will likely experience severe acute food insecurity.'
It stated that even if rains are better in the coming year, it is likely that 'households will run out of food stocks before the end of the year'.
IPC is a multi-partner initiative for improving food security and nutrition analysis and decision-making. It includes the Swaziland government, Red Cross and World Food Program.
In a previous report the World Food Program said it had fallen more than US$9 million short in its fundraising to help ease the hunger crisis gripping Swaziland. That amounted to only 47 percent of the US$17.4 million it hoped to raise.