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NAMIBIA: Appeal for US $33 million for drought relief

johannesburg, 24 November 2003 (IRIN) - The government of Namibia has appealed to the international community to provide US $33.7 million for drought relief programmes.

Some 643,000 people have been affected by the drought and are in urgent need of assistance in the form of food, water, seeds, and emergency grazing for their animals.

Emergency Management Unit (EMU) Deputy Director Gabriel Kangowa told IRIN on Monday that the government had called a meeting with donors, aid agencies and NGOs last Thursday to outline its appeal for Nam $217.5 million (about US $33.7 million).

"There are already indications that some donors are coming to talk to us, so they can tell us what can be offered. The indication is that they want to assist," Kangowa said.

The government has allocated what resources it could muster to purchasing food.

"We can pay for foodstuffs that have already been ordered, but we still need some more [funding] for other areas. We have to provide water, grazing and marketing for animals and purchase fire fighting equipment - there's a range of things, like orphans and vulnerable children, that we want to cater for. We will appreciate whatever assistance may be extended to the government," Kangowa said.

Last year around 345,000 Namibians required food aid, which the government was able to provide without making an appeal for international assistance.

However, this year's drought has been more severe and flash floods in the Caprivi region in the northeast of the country have also contributed to people's vulnerability.

Theme (s): Food Security, Natural Disasters,

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

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