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Oxfam has warned that over 6 million people from farming families in Zambia are facing acute food shortages and malnutrition until next growing season, due to a severe drought which has caused massive crop failures for half of the country’s planted area.

Oxfam Zambia Country Representative Yvonne Chibiya says Oxfam and partners are doing further assessments in the targeted areas to inform the humanitarian response.

And Ms. Chibiya says Oxfam urgently needs 6 million euros to provide 600,000 people with cash transfers and clean water, help with winter cropping and improving local sanitation and hygiene services to prevent a resurgence of cholera outbreak.

Meanwhile, Oxfam Southern Africa Programme Director Machinda Marongwe says it is during times like this when climate financing is most needed, to build up practical and accessible solutions for vulnerable smallholder farmers.

Mr. Marongwe says smallholder farmers need to be insulated from this and must be adequately supported to transform their agriculture so that they can still grow food for their families amidst this climate change reality. 

He says countries like Zambia and many others in Southern Africa need climate financing to help them build up the resilience of their smallholder farmers.