More than one in five people in Swaziland (eSwatini) face food shortages that require ‘urgent humanitarian assistance,’ according to the latest hunger analysis of the kingdom.
Nearly 262,000 of Swaziland’s estimated 1.2 million population are affected. A further 342,000 people are in a state of stress, according to the IPC (Integrated Food Security Phase Classification) analysis covering the three months up to September 2021.
The situation is slightly worse than last year and it is expected to continue deteriorating, IPC reported.
‘The likely impact of the COVID-19 [coronavirus] pandemic, high commodity prices and poor performance of the agricultural season will greatly influence this increase,’ it added.
It said, ‘The outbreak of Covid-19 negatively impacted the livelihoods of households through the mitigation actions, such as lockdowns, taken to prevent the spread of the virus.’
It added dry spells in November and December 2020 reduced harvests and above normal rains in February 2021 caused flooding and crop damage in some areas.
It recommended, ‘Government and development partners should consider providing the urgently-needed resources to enable sourcing and delivery of critical life-saving food assistance to populations facing significant food consumption gaps.’
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