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USAID Commits $1M To Help Several African Nations Deal With Natural Disasters, Disease Spread

USAID announced on Thursday a $1 million commitment to a Red Cross project aimed at helping those “living along southern Africa’s Zambezi River cope with worsening natural disasters because of climate change,” the AP/Washington Post reports.

“For the 32 million people who live in the Zambezi’s basin – some of the world’s poorest – the river is a source of transportation, jobs and fertile soil for agriculture,” the AP/Washington Post writes. “But it also brings misery with a cycle of flood and drought that displaces hundreds of thousands of people annually. Extreme flooding and dry spells destroy crops and cause food shortages, while receding waters leave cholera, dysentery and malaria,” according to AP/Washington Post.

The Red Cross chose to launch the Zambezi River Basin Initiative after this year’s devastating flood season claimed the lives of 90 people and displaced over 276,000 in Namibia alone, according to the AP/Washington Post.

Through the three-year $8.6 million initiative, the Red Cross will work with “the seven nations that the river winds through – Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe” to “boost early warning systems and local training for disaster management, as well provide funds for malaria, cholera, and HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention projects,” the AP/Washington Post writes (Theriault, AP/Washington Post, 6/25).