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Zambia needs 738,000 tonnes of maize for relief efforts

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Zambia needs approximately 738,000 metric tonnes of maize to meet the food needs of individuals impacted by drought over the next 14 months, according to the nation’s disaster response agency on Tuesday.

Gabriel Pollen, the National Coordinator of the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit stated in a joint press briefing on Tuesday that the maize is required in the immediate response to provide relief food to about 6.6 million people.

“The target is 84 districts out of 116 districts in Zambia that have been negatively affected by the drought,” Pollen noted.

He said so far 44,286 metric tonnes of maize has been made available by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Food Reserve Agency for immediate delivery to the affected districts, adding that the devastation caused by the drought has caused food insecurity.

According to Pollen, the government is expected to source about 9.9 million U.S. dollars under the drought insurance cover. The World Food Program was expected to provide 3.3 million dollars in the form of social cash transfers.

In February of this year, the government declared a national disaster and emergency due to the adverse effects of poor rains attributed to climatic conditions.

(With input from agency) 

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