Power and Politics

SADC Heads of State unite in virtual summit to address El Niño-induced food shortages


The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Heads of State have launched the appeal on food shortages due to the El Niño-induced drought affecting the region.

The SADC International Appeal, highlighted the population affected, their prioritised needs and a call for immediate support from partners to address the identified needs.

The launch for appeal was made through a virtual Extraordinary Summit attended by all SADC Heads of State that included President Hakainde Hichilema.

The Extraordinary Summit was convened at the behest of the SADC Chairman, João Lourenço, who is Angolan President.

The summit deliberated on the ongoing El Niño-induced drought that had negatively impacted the lives and livelihoods of many people in the region.

The summit also discussed measures to mitigate the impact of the drought and address the food and energy security situation in the region.

During the meeting, Hichilema highlighted the impact of the debilitating drought on food and energy security in the SADC region, stating that this could not be overstated.

Read More: Govt says K23.5 billion needed to fight drought, as Stanbic Bank donates K1 million for relief efforts

“Unless we collectively utilize our resource endowments to support deficit areas, our regional economies will suffer, and our economic gains could be reversed due to this humanitarian crisis,” he said.

Hichilema stated that no SADC member country had been spared by the crisis and the solidarity and unity displayed at the Summit to combat the common challenge were commendable.

“The strategies of water harvesting and using coal as an alternative energy source, similar to what Western nations had resorted to, should be urgently explored,” he stressed.

Additionally, the virtual meeting strongly condemned the attempted coup in a SADC member state, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and expressed zero tolerance for unconstitutional means of seizing power.

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