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Updated On: Monday, 16 September 2019

Impact of El Nino Lingers

Content by: South-South News

12 July 2016, New York, USA | South-South News — According to the UN’s World Food Program, the recent El Niño weather event - one of the strongest on record - has wound down but its damaging effects on the food security of the most vulnerable continues and will be felt through mid-2017. The UN aid agency noted that the food security of at least 60 million people has been affected globally, straining WFP’s operations and responses into next year.

In Papua New Guinea, over 260,000 people affected by El Niño-related food insecurity are being reached with WFP assistance.

In a recent interview in Port Moresby, UN envoy on El Niño ambassador Macharia Kamau of Kenya said “there is almost 200,000 people who are in immediate needs and whose challenges are very real; to do with food, to do with water, to do with basic livelihood. These are the people who, without aid, would probably not live, literally, to the next season, as opposed to the bulk of the population that might struggle, but these are the ones we don’t want to leave behind because they are particularly vulnerable.”

El Niño threatens to undermine decades of development progress by leaving communities less able to absorb and adapt to a changing climate. The WFP has rapidly scaled up relief operations to assist communities grappling with El Niño’s impacts, particularly in four of the most affected regions: Southern Africa, East Africa, Asia Pacific, and Latin America-Caribbean including Haiti.

WFP stressed that concerns are growing about a La Niña event materializing in the second half of 2016. Although this may eventually bring much-needed rains to some parts of the world late this year, La Niña is forecast to bring drier-than-average conditions that could lead to drought in parts of Eastern Africa, including Somalia and Kenya into 2017.

WFP has launched emergency food distributions in Swaziland and in Lesotho, has started cash-based transfers for thousands of vulnerable people in two of the worst-hit districts.



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