Chronic drought is a factor in increased migration in Southern Africa – Government of Zimbabwe must address food insecurity with both emergency and adaptation finance, Oxfam says
In response to the Address by His Excellency President Robert Mugabe on the occasion of the high-level meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on large movements of refugees and migrants, Oxfam in Zimbabwe Country Director Machinda Marongwe said:
“Oxfam commends His Excellency President Robert Mugabe for acknowledging the need for collective responsibility in order to change the narrative on migrants and migration.
To this end, Oxfam brings to the attention of the Government of Zimbabwe that following the worst drought in decades, rural communities we work with tell us about family members who have migrated because of ‘issues of the stomach’: there is no food, and there are no employment opportunities.
This situation will get worse before it gets better; the next harvest will not be ready until March. Urgent action is needed both to meet people’s food needs now, ensure food markets are able to function effectively, and to help people plant successfully in the coming months. And yet across southern Africa, there is currently a $2.5 billion funding gap for the response.
The Government of Zimbabwe is encouraged to continue working with donors to plug this gap, alongside supporting vulnerable communities to escape their dependence on rain-fed agriculture. It is imperative to swiftly implement measures that build their resilience in the face of recurrent droughts, and enable them to adapt to a new climate, by supporting them to diversify their crops ahead of planting for the next season.
We urge the Government of Zimbabwe, along with other southern African governments, to represent the region strongly at this year’s UN General Assembly by calling for greater and more investment from the global community to support the most vulnerable communities as they adapt to the changing climate, and ensure they are not faced with leaving their homes in future.”