COVID-19: UN agency opens food corridor in Africa

COVID-19: UN agency opens food corridor in Africa

The United Nations World Food Program has negotiated a humanitarian corridor to keep food aid flowing in southern Africa during the Coronavirus outbreak, Reuters reports.

Several Southern African governments have closed borders, canceled flights and imposed strict entry and quarantine requirements to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.

Up to 45 million people in southern Africa face hunger following a devastating drought and two cyclones last year, and there are growing fears the crisis could be compounded by the outbreak of the virus, Reuters notes.

According to Lola Castro, World Food Program director for southern Africa, South Africa had agreed to let vessels carrying food aid dock on its shores, wherefrom supplies will be conveyed to countries like Zimbabwe, Malawi, Botswana and Namibia, which face food shortages.

“At this moment we are actually maintaining our normal food distributions but maybe in the future, depending on the effect of the virus and effect on the food system, especially on the smallholder farmers … maybe we will see an increase in prices and number of people who require food assistance,” she said.

Africa has registered more than 7,134 cases of coronavirus and over 289 deaths so far.

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