Elena Valenciano, Chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights in the EP, and Linda McAvan, Chair of the Committee on Development in the European Parliament (EP), on the worrying situation in southern Africa:
"No fewer than six countries in southern Africa (South Africa, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Zambia) are facing a major crisis due to the worst southern African drought in decades. According to the World Food Programme (WPF) over 10 million people across the region will need food aid in the coming year. The WFP estimates that more than 30 million people are currently food insecure and the WFP believes that these numbers are still going to grow.
It is our moral duty to ensure that there will be no loss of life due to starvation. We also need to take into account the huge social implications of food insecurity and its very negative impact on the economy, often resulting in social unrest.
The EU and its Member States must therefore make sure the WFP and other aid agencies receive the funding needed to sustain the huge numbers of people affected. We have already witnessed what aid agencies' shortage of funds meant for refugees in Lebanon and Jordan who finally saw no option but to flee to Europe, and we should not allow such a shortfall in funding to happen again."