Algeria sends humanitarian aid to Namibia after drought

Algeria has sent humanitarian assistance, which consisted of food, to Namibia which suffered from the worst case of drought in 30 years.

Most farms currently are The country’s agricultural output is forecast to decline by 5.5 percent this year before expanding by 6.1 percent in 2014, according to the latest quarterly review issued by the Bank of Namibia on August 21. Crop production will shrink by 9.3 percent this year and grow 5.2 percent next year.

The NAU says it will take as long as five years for farmers to recoup their losses and to operate profitably. “The impact of this drought will be felt for the next two years but as farmers it will take us about five years to restock,” Coetzee said.

Currently, one-third of Namibia’s 778,000 population (109,000 under the age of 5) is at risk of malnutrition as a consequence of the drought. The Kunene region in the north has had no rain for two years, and families have been forced to sell livestock and migrate to cities in search of work.

“Against a backdrop of underlying fragility, including pre-existing high levels of food insecurity and maternal and child undernutrition (29% national stunting) combined with low sanitation coverage (14% in rural areas), children and women are particularly at risk of worsening health and nutrition status given the current drought conditions,” the agency added.Unicef has appealed for $7.4m to support efforts to respond to the needs of women and children affected by the drought. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is asking for $1.48m

Namibia President Hifkepunye Pohamba declared a national emergency after the failure of crops in May, allocating 20 million Namibian dollars (US$2 million) of relief for those worst hit.

Namibia is sub-Saharan Africa’s driest country and is described as a dry piece of land between two deserts. The lack of rain makes the country highly susceptible to drought along with its neighbor Angola.

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