Disaster Update: American Red Cross Responding to Namibia Drought with Disaster Specialist

Namibia is suffering from severe drought conditions after one of the driest rainy seasons in decades.  The lack of available water is causing a strain on local farmers resulting in food shortage and loss of livestock. Cholera and malnutrition cases are increasing, likely due to the shortage of safe water sources and poor sanitation and hygiene practices.

In May 2013, the government of Namibia declared a state of emergency for the estimated 331,000 people living in rural areas affected by the drought.

Since the beginning of this operation, the Namibia Red Cross has worked alongside the global Red Cross network and other humanitarian partners to develop an operations plan and complete needs assessments. The Namibia Red Cross is providing support by delivering assistance in water, food security, and cash grants and is aiming to reach 55,000 people.

In July 2013, the American Red Cross committed $70,000 to the International Federation appeal to support the response operation. This contribution will help the Namibia Red Cross provide immediate relief including food, emergency relief items, and cash grants to the affected populations. As of January 2014, the American Red Cross has also deployed one specialist to support the Namibia Red Cross with the distribution of cash grants for food.

For more information on the disaster, visit http://www.redcross.org.na/.

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