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SADC Ministers responsible for Agriculture, Water, Energy and Disaster Risk Management discuss sectoral impacts of El Niño

SADC Ministers responsible for Agriculture, Water, Energy and Disaster Risk Management discuss sectoral impacts of El Niño

The Ministers responsible for Agriculture, Water, Energy, and Disaster Risk Management from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) virtually met on 14 May to discuss the sectoral impact of El-induced drought and floods ahead of the Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government.

The meeting was chaired by Eugeńio Laborinho, Minister of Interior of Angola and Chairperson of the Joint Meeting of Ministers of Agriculture, Energy, Water and Disaster Risk Management.

Laborinho expressed concern over the sectoral impact of El Niño, particularly highlighting the El Niño climate condition that has led to water scarcity thereby triggering food insecurity in the SADC region whose economy is largely agriculture-based.

He called for solidarity and coordinated efforts, involving all relevant sectors, to tackle the impacts of El Niño induced drought and floods.

The Executive Secretary of SADC, Elias Magosi highlighted that the impacts of the El Niño are interconnected and continue to manifest across multiple sectors. He cited as an example that, as a result of the low water levels, some Member States have already embarked on long hours of electricity load shedding, thereby negatively impacting the socio-economic fabric and productivity of the SADC region.

Magosi underscored the importance of collaboration among different ministries and sectors to leverage synergies from various ministries and facilitate integrated planning and harmonised interventions to address the adverse impacts of the drought and floods which have left an estimated 56.8 million people in the SADC region food insecure.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the United Nations World Food Programme, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the International Federation of the Red Cross, and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network.

The Joint Meeting was held in preparation for the upcoming meeting of the Council of Ministers to be held on 19 May and followed by the Extraordinary Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government on 20 May to discuss the humanitarian situation necessitated by the El Niño induced drought and floods.


 

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