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Southern Africa Leaders Appeal for $5.5 Billion to Cushion El Niño Effects

Southern Africa leaders have appealed for $5.5 billion in aid from the international community to combat the effects of El Niño. The climate pattern has led to widespread flooding and drought across the region and, by extension, the grain shortages that has left millions on the brink of starvation. Following a virtual meeting on Monday, leaders from 15 countries in the region’s bloc Southern African Development Community (SADC) decided that bolstering domestic resources with international aid is the best way to combat the problem. To that end, they agreed to launch an appeal for aid to the international community. Given the droughts have led to national emergencies in Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, SADC executive secretary Elias Magosi emphasized the need for proactive measures to mitigate climate risks, including the upcoming La Niña phenomenon. The UN and FAO have already pledged $43 million.