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Namibian Government Taking Action Against Country’s Worst Drought In 30 Years

Think Africa Press reports on a drought in Namibia, the worst the country has seen in 30 years, writing, “In the Kunene region in the north, rain has not fallen for two years, and the U.N. recently estimated that 778,000 people — approximately one-third of the population — are either moderately or severely food insecure.” The news service notes, “To tackle these problems, the Namibian government has pledged $20 million in relief for the worst-affected households, and UNICEF is trying to raise $7.4 million to reach the 109,000 children under-five who are at risk of severe malnutrition.” To date, “the government’s relief efforts have encountered various problems, which it has promised to iron out,” but “even if the current crisis is overcome in the short-term, Namibia will remain vulnerable to such environmental crises unless concerted long-term efforts are also pursued effectively.”

Climate change is “[o]ne factor that could make Namibia increasingly prone to drought and extreme weather patterns,” the news service writes, adding “there are many things the Namibian government needs to do to prepare the country for environmental change.” However, “there are indications that the Namibian government seems to recognize this,” such as its engagement “with the U.N.-backed Global Environmental Facility, a body set up to help countries with lower resources tackle problems associated with climate change” (Farrell, 9/5). In a related Q&A with Al Jazeera, Alexander Matheou, regional representative for southern Africa with the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC), speaks “about the impact of the drought in Namibia and why the world ought to take notice before the effects spiral out of control” (Essa, 9/6).