News from Swaziland today:
“Despite the worst harvest in the country’s recorded history and the aftermath of fires that destroyed crops and plantations, Swaziland’s appeals for international assistance are falling on deaf donor ears.
In July UN agencies appealed for US$18 million to feed about 40 percent of Swaziland’s one million people, who are facing acute food shortages. So far, only $3.1 million has been forthcoming, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
‘The low funding of the appeal is extremely worrying. The food reserves that people have been living off of will begin to run out in September, and it is very likely that many households will have eaten the seeds they would have planted in the coming agricultural season, thus prolonging their situation of food insecurity,’ Kelly David, head the OCHA Southern African regional office, told IRIN.
‘Without assistance, there is no question that people will be facing serious food shortages in the coming month [September].’
To date, funding for relief aid by the World Food Programme has received roughly $1.6 million; the promotion of self-feeding schemes like backyard and community gardens, just over $1.5 million.”