The United Kingdom has donated more than £1,000,000 towards the hunger crisis in Zambia, days after opposition leader called for external good relief.
The Department for International Development (DFID) Zambia has since issued an invitation for proposals from NGOs with capacity to deliver emergency drought response activities in the worst affected districts.
This follows UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema decision to declare hunger a national emergency, saying he wouldn’t wait for President Edgar Lungu to do that anymore while people were starving.
“Zambia is currently experiencing a drought affecting in excess of 1.7 million people. DFID Zambia is open to receiving proposals from NGOs with capacity to deliver emergency drought response activities in the worst affected districts in the sectors of food security, livelihoods and water,” a statement posted on the DfID website read.
“As the UK is already working with UNICEF in selected districts to set up emergency cash transfers and support for treatment of acute malnutrition, additional proposals for these activities are not sought at this time,” reads the call for proposals published on September 19.”
And UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema has commended the UK government for responding to the call for food relief.
“We would like to thank the UK government through the DFID for issuing a humanitarian emergency fund to support Civil Society organizations and church to distribute relief food to more than 1.7million Zambians threatened with hunger,” Mr Hichilema said.
“This is as it should be. The hunger situation in the country is real as numerous media reports have shown our people surviving on wild fruits and roots, some of which are poisonous.”
He added, “It’s our prayer that more donors will come on board to supplement efforts aimed at alleviating the hunger situation in Zambia. We must not wait for deaths, we should prevent people from dying of hunger. We call on those NGOs and other non state actors that will be charged with the responsibility of distribution to be transparent and accountable to the public funds.”