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‘Research El niño impact on food security’

TRYNESS TEMBO, Lusaka
THE Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states have been urged to provide preliminary data on the number of people affected by El Niño for planning and resource mobilization purposes in the short-term.
This came to light at the just ended SADC consultative meeting on preparedness and response to the impact of El niño on agriculture, food and nutrition security in Southern Africa last week.
The meeting acknowledged that the El Niño phenomenon will continue to recur hence, agreed on the immediate implementation of the following short, medium and long-term measures in a collective and coordinated manner to minimize the impacts on the communities.
“Member states with the support of cooperating partners will provide immediate relief to meet the food and non-food needs of more than 28 million vulnerable populations, who were affected by the previous poor season. The numbers are likely to increase in view of the current El Niño.
This is according to a statement availed to the Daily Mail by SADC secretariat Communications and Awareness Expert -Water Sector Barbara Lopi yesterday.
Ms Lopi said member states also resolved to scale-up on-going social protection and to provide capacity needs for support by international cooperating partners.
Other resolutions were to increase budgetary allocation for disaster prevention, preparedness, mitigation and response, among others.
In the medium to long-term, the member states and partners intend to develop a regional resilience and monitoring and evaluation framework to promote and scale-up appropriate technologies to adapt and mitigate against climate variability and change.
Others are to scale-up implementation and strengthen disaster risk reduction strategies for preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery, to implement regional agricultural policies that promote production, productivity, competitiveness and improve access to markets and promote private sector participation and to use risk financing instruments to manage disasters.

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