Zambia needs 738,000 tonnes of maize for humanitarian relief: official-Xinhua

Zambia needs 738,000 tonnes of maize for humanitarian relief: official

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-04-30 23:58:46

LUSAKA, April 30 (Xinhua) -- Zambia needs about 738,000 metric tonnes of maize to provide for people adversely affected by drought for their food requirements for a period of 14 months, the country's disaster response agency said on Tuesday.

Gabriel Pollen, national coordinator for the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit, said the maize is required in the immediate response to provide relief food to about 6.6 million people in 84 of the country's 116 districts adversely affected by the drought.

In remarks delivered during a press briefing on the drought response plan, Pollen said the quantity of maize needed was determined based on an assessment of the nutritional requirements of the affected population.

He said so far 44,286 metric tonnes of maize has been made available by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Food Reserve Agency for immediate delivery to the affected districts, adding that the devastation caused by the drought has caused food insecurity in the districts.

"Right now, the government already has an ongoing intervention implementation, and bear in mind that we also expect support in the form of cash transfer," he said.

According to him, the government is expected to source about 9.9 million U.S. dollars under the drought insurance cover while the World Food Program was expected to provide 3.3 million dollars to be given in the form of social cash transfer to the vulnerable populations.

The private sector is also expected to supplement government efforts in providing relief assistance, he said, adding that some organizations have already started making donations.

He said strict control measures have been put in place within the humanitarian response to ensure that the relief support reaches the intended people.

In February of this year, the government declared a national state of disaster and emergency due to the adverse effects of poor rains attributed to climatic conditions.

President Hakainde Hichilema said recently that the government urgently requires about 940 million U.S. dollars for its drought response plan, noting that only about 51.2 million dollars is currently available.