AFRICA/ANGOLA - Drought alarm: nearly 2 million people at risk of hunger, of whom 500,000 are children

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Luanda (Agenzia Fides) - Some 500,000 Angolan children are at risk of hunger due to the drought that has hit the Country. The alarm was raised by the Angolan government, according to which "10 of the 18 provinces of the Country are experiencing a serious food crisis, which threatens at least 500,000 children."
"To cope with this situation, the Government of Angola, along with several international partners (including the UN) has launched a program to combat child malnutrition," said a government source, quoted by the daily Catholic Apostolate. The program covers the provinces of Zaire, Bie, Huambo, Kwanza-Sul, Cunene, Huila, Bengo, Benguela, Moxico and Namibe.
According to the same source, the initiative aims to "build health centers and train more than two thousand community health workers, who will work with approximately 350 000 households in the four most affected provinces: Kwanza-Sul, Zaire, Huambo and Bie."
In the last year there has been a 60% decrease of the rains in Angola. Agricultural production has been reduced by more than 400,000 tonnes compared to the previous harvest and 1 million and 800,000 people are in a situation of food insecurity.
A paradoxical situation for a Country that contends with Nigeria the primacy of oil production in Africa, with a population of about 20 million inhabitants (instead Nigeria has a population of well over 100 million people). (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 08/11/2012)