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As the impacts of climate and COVID-19 intensify, WFP helps the Government to assist flood-affected people

LUSAKA – While ramping up its efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has begun delivering relief food assistance to more than a quarter of a million vulnerable people heavily impacted by recent flash flooding.

Unpredictable weather patterns are having a profound impact on the lives of the most vulnerable in Zambia. On top of last year’s drought that plunged 2.3 million people into food insecurity, recent flash floods have left an estimated 1.1 million in need of food assistance.

 “The COVID-19 pandemic hit Zambia as people affected by drought and flash floods were just starting to recover and rebuild their livelihoods,” said Jennifer Bitonde, WFP Representative in Zambia. “This risks undermining resilience gains and further aggravating food insecurity of the most vulnerable.”

WFP is working with the Government and the national disaster management agency to deliver immediate relief food to 260,000 food-insecure people in 32 flood-affected districts in central, northern and eastern parts of Zambia.

With COVID-19 preventative measures in place, people affected by the floods are receiving up to 30-day rations of government-supplied maize meal, together with WFP pulses that ensure an adequate protein intake.

“We are grateful to the Government of the United States and to the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund, whose support has enabled this significant intervention”, said Bitonde.


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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies, building prosperity and supporting a sustainable future for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

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For more information please contact (email address:


Zambia Climate Food Security Health emergencies


Paola Di Tommaso, WFP/Lusaka,
Mob. +260971020341

Sophie Smeulders, WFP/Lusaka,
Mob. +260 97 2834194