Caritas seeks funds to fight starvation in southern Africa
As more than 10 million people are at risk of starvation in southern Africa's worst agricultural disaster in a decade, Caritas Australia National Director, Jack de Groot has described the situation as critical.
"It is essential the Australian community act now, by August it will be too late, the region will be facing a famine, said Mr de Groot.
In 2000 floods washed away the harvest in some regions. In 2001 and 2002 many of the same areas have suffered severe droughts. In many districts of southern Africa the harvest has delivered less than 30 per cent of average yields.
Many are resorting to eating the seeds for the winter's harvest, this will impact on their future food supplies. Others have nothing to eat. It is estimated that 4 million tonnes of food will be needed, the vast majority of this will needto be imported from overseas.
"The crisis is especially acute in Malawi, a State of Emergency has been declared and more than one and a half million people are without adequate food. Already in Malawi reports have stated that more than 100 people a day are dying, said Mr de Groot."
Caritas Australia has already responded to those affected by food shortages in southern Africa by sending $40,000 in immediate aid, with the situation worsening it is critical that we further our involvement.
All monies raised through Caritas Australia's southern Africa food crisis appeal will enable our local partners in Malawi and Zambia to provide relief food such as maize, flour and vegetable oil to those who are acutely food insecure.
Donations may be made online, by mail, or phone (1800 024 413)
Southern Africa Food Crisis Appeal (Caritas Australia)
19 Jun 2002