Hunger continues to grip Swaziland (eSwatini) and the European Union has donated 1.4 million euros (US$1.6 million) to help feed up to 94,000 families in the coming year.
The money will be used to support the World Wood Programme’s (WFP) efforts in rural and urban areas of Manzini, Lubombo and Hhohho regions.
Cash will be transferred monthly to destitute families. About one third of the kingdom’s estimated 1.1 million people are reported to be vulnerable to hunger. Poor crops and the effects of coronavirus (COVID-19) are mostly blamed for the situation.
Cissy Byenkya, WFP’s Head of Office in Swaziland said, ‘This timely contribution will help us address deepening food insecurity and malnutrition in children, particularly orphans, pregnant and breast-feeding women, and people living with HIV and AIDS.’
Hunger is reportedly sweeping across Swaziland. The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) in a report published in August 2020 said about 366,000 people faced ‘high acute food insecurity’ in the coming months.
The IPC analysis was undertaken for rural and urban areas in Swaziland; comprising of four rural districts: (Manzini, Shiselweni, Lubombo and Hhohho); and two urban districts; (Hhohho urban and Manzini urban). At present, 32 percent of the rural population (292,794 people) and 17 percent of the urban population (37,424 people) are in crisis.
Compared with 2019, the kingdom’s food insecurity situation has deteriorated.
IPC reported The COVID-19 pandemic had compounded the food insecurity situation, leading to an estimated 37 percent of households with reduced income and 26.9 percent with reported loss of employment.
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