Millions of people are "on the brink of famine" in southern Angola, according to Amnesty International

Millions of people are “on the brink of famine” in southern Angola, according to Amnesty International

MADRID, 22 Jul. (EUROPA PRESS) –

The non-governmental organization Amnesty International has warned this Thursday that millions of people are “on the brink of famine” in southern Angola due to the drought and added that thousands of people have had to flee their homes after losing their livelihood. and in the face of increasing insecurity.

“Millions of people in southern Angola are on the brink of famine, caught between the devastating effects of climate change and the diversion of land to commercial livestock farming,” said Deprose Muchena, director of the NGO for Eastern and Southern Africa. , through a statement.

The organization has highlighted that the creation of commercial cattle ranches on community lands has displaced herders since the end of the civil war in 2002, leaving part of the population food insecure, especially in the face of a drought. which has been going on for three years.

“This drought, the worst in 40 years, has torn apart traditional communities that struggled to survive since they were dispossessed of vast grazing lands,” said Muchena, before demanding that the Angolan government “assume its responsibility for its role in this tough situation and guarantee reparations to the affected communities, in addition to taking immediate steps to address food insecurity in rural areas of the provinces of Cunene and Huíla. “

The local NGO Associação Construindo Communities (Association Building Communities), shepherd families in Gambos, Huila, are facing famine, while underlining that dozens of people have died from malnutrition since 2019, with the elderly and children as the most vulnerable.

Thus, Angolans living in these provinces have been particularly affected by the drought, which could worsen in the coming months, prompting thousands of them to cross the border with Nambibia since March 2021, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has pointed to “an increase in the frequency and intensity of droughts” and added that “this frequency and intensity are projected to increase, particularly in the Mediterranean region and southern Africa. “.

Amnesty International has emphasized that the situation was already “precarious” before the drought in these provinces and recalled that the Angolan government data shows that 67 percent of the pasture lands in Gambos have been occupied by commercial pastoralists.

“The situation in southern Angola is a stark reminder that climate change is already causing suffering and death,” argued Muchena, who has asked the international community, “and particularly the rich countries and those most responsible for the crisis climate “, that” they adopt immediate measures to fulfill their obligations of Human Rights “.

In this sense, it has requested that “they urgently reduce their emissions and give the necessary financial and technical support to governments and civil society organizations to support the affected communities.”

“Likewise, the Angolan authorities must stop diverting land from traditional communities to communities in rural areas of the provinces of Cunene and Huíla. They must ensure that those responsible for handing over communal grazing areas to commercial shepherds are accountable,” he added.

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