Over 800,000 people risk starving in Mozambique

Sunday December 9 2018

 

ARNALDO VIEIRA
By ARNALDO VIEIRA
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Over 800,000 people were at a risk of starvation in Mozambique, the National Institute for Calamities Management (INGC) said.

The O Pais newspaper quoted INGC general director Augusta Maíta making the revelation to journalists at the close of the organisation's 10th consultative council in Maputo.

“According to the INGC contingency plan until March 2019, about 1.5 million people would be affected at different events,” the O Pais newspaper quoted Ms Maíta as saying.

She identified the regions affected as Inhambane, Sofala, Manica and Tete.

Heavy rainfall

Last year, the southern African country was on a high alert due to heavy rainfall and strong winds, associated with massive destruction and loss of lives.

The heavy rains followed a severe drought that saw the Mozambican government last year declare an orange level alert.

The climatic changes were attributed to the El Niño weather phenomenon, which has been destructive.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) ranks Mozambique among the most disaster-prone countries in the world.

Civil war

Mozambique is highly vulnerable to extreme climatic conditions, which destroy infrastructure and restrict economic growth, hindering efforts to achieve environmental sustainability and to eradicate extreme poverty.

The southern Africa state remains one of the world's poorest countries, with more than half its 24 million population living below the poverty line.

Mozambique gained independence from Portugal in 1975 then descended into over a decade of civil war.

The country was still suffering from the effects of a 16-year war that ended in 1992.

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