A food crisis is especially acute in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Zambia, which account for 75% of the people needing food assistance. The ongoing food crisis is compounded by a number of factors including drought, the effects of cyclone Idai and its related flooding, conflict and economic downturn.
“We are extremely concerned at the increasing number of adolescent girls caught up in food insecurity, especially where they are being traded off by family members in an effort to earn the next meal,” says Stuart Katwikirize, Plan International Regional Head of Disaster Risk Management.
From sex-for-food to forced marriage, girls are caught between impossible choices for survival as severe food shortages sweep across the southern continent.
In Mozambique multiple and consecutive incidents have left almost 10 per cent of the country’s population in need of lifesaving and resilience-building assistance.
“Adolescent girls and women are typically more affected by drought because it is usually their job to find water and food for the family, ” says Anne Hoff, Country Director, Plan International Mozambique.
“Children are increasingly dropping out of school because of hunger issues which remains a serious concern,” said Angela Muriithi, Country Director, Plan International Zimbabwe. “An estimated 2.2 million people in urban areas are facing food and economic insecurity, with 53% of households in Harare reporting inability to pay school fees.”