Thursday, 18 July 2013

News Report: Northern Namibia Suffers Worst Drought In 30 Years

Credit: Reuters
 Namibia, sub-Saharan Africa's driest country, is suffering its worst drought in a generation, with more than 100,000 children at risk of malnutrition, the United Nations said on Thursday.
President Hifkepunye Pohamba declared a national emergency in the sparsely populated southern African nation after the failure of crops in May, and earmarked $20 million of relief for the worst-hit households.
Many farmers are now being forced to sell cattle for which there is no grazing, while cow-herds from Angola are reported to have crossed the border in search of food, fuelling tribal tensions as competition for scarce pastures intensifies.
"The shortages of food and water are increasing the immediate threat of disease and malnutrition," said Micaela Marques De Sousa, the Namibia representative of UNICEF, the U.N.'s children's agency.
"But anecdotal reports already indicate children are dropping out of school, a clear sign of stress and vulnerability in families."
Namibia, which won independence from neighbouring South Africa in 1990, classifies as a middle-income country although a quarter of its 2 million people live in poverty.
While agriculture accounts for 5 percent of the economy, a third of Namibians are dependent on some form of subsistence farming.

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Special Report: Global Economic Prospects June 2013

The global economy appears to be transitioning toward a more stable period. Although acute risks have diminished, real-side activity remains sluggish – especially in high-income Europe. Most developing countries have fully recovered from the crisis. Although growth is slower than during the boom period, it is in line with underlying potential, and output is projected to pick up only gradually to around 5.8 percent by 2015. High unemployment and spare capacity remain pressing problems in developing Europe and the Middle East and North Africa. With a more stable external environment, new risks and challenges are gaining prominence, including the potential impact on exporting countries of a faster than anticipated decline in commodity prices, the possibility that the eventual withdrawal of quantitative easing exposes vulnerabilities in developing countries, and the need to resort increasingly to supply-side rather than demand stimulus policies to achieve stronger growth.

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