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US provides Mozambique with $10.5m to support drought victims

APA-Maputo (Mozambique)

The US government has pledged to provide Mozambique with $10.5 million to support at least 1.5 million people in the southern African nation who need international assistance to see them through a disastrous El Nino-induced drought, APA can report Wednesday.

The support, which is being channeled through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by World Vision International, will help to meet the growing needs of affected communities by providing emergency food assistance, increasing nutritional support, access to drinking water and improving agricultural livelihoods. A press release from the US embassy emailed to APA on Wednesday says that the initiative calls for "the provision of more than 8,200 metric tons of food assistance to 150,000 drought victims in the provinces of Tete and Sofala." This support also has counterparts. Thus, "beneficiaries will receive six months of food assistance in return for work on projects focused on the protection of natural resources". The project will also support the training of community volunteers to perform screening for malnutrition and will provide supplementary feeding for children under five years of age and pregnant and lactating women who show signs of malnutrition. Another component of the project includes improving access to drinking water, supporting water infrastructure, and training communities in management techniques for valuable liquid points. To accompany the activities on the ground, US Ambassador Dean Pittman recently traveled to Tete, central Mozambique, where he had the opportunity to highlight several drought response activities supported by his country's government. In April of this year the Mozambican government was forced to declare institutional red alert for a period of 90 days for the Central and South regions of the country due to the drought that currently affects millions of people deemed as food insecure. Meanwhile, USAID is also partnering with World Vision to support the recovery of agriculture and livelihoods through initiatives that include seed procurement and distribution and training of farmers in conservation agriculture techniques. Farmers in rural communities are in particular trouble and that nearly one-half-million farmers who grow rain-fed crops have lost their harvest because of the drought. In Mozambique’s southern region, almost all planted crops for the main growing season also have been lost to drought caused by the natural phenomunum. El Nino is the warming of the western Pacific Ocean that changes normal rain patterns. The United Nations has received only $13 million of the $203 million appeal it made for humanitarian operations in Mozambique this year.


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