Dear South African
The chaotic events of a fortnight ago poses a severe food threat, especially in rural KZN. The destruction of infrastructure on an unimaginable scale, will cause a huge increase in unemployment and make it difficult for millions of inhabitants of the area to access food and other resources. Should this predicament not be addressed, it will become a very serious humanitarian crisis and safety and security threat in the area.
Although many organisations and individuals have already supplied food and other necessities to the region, it is not remotely sufficient to satisfy the need over the immediate, medium and long term. A huge effort will be required to prevent the devastating consequences resulting from the aftermath of these unprovoked attacks in the areas hardest hit by the recent disastrous events.
The immediate need is for food supplies to reach the disaster-stricken areas, especially for the immediate future while steps are taken to restore crucial infrastructure and logistical arrangements in these areas.
It is also of utmost importance to ensure that food supplied to the area must reach the intended recipients and not end up in the hands of people who may abuse it for personal or political gain.
During a visit to the area last week, we were able to enter into an arrangement with an established and absolutely reputable organisation which complies with the requirements set out above. We are therefore satisfied that the arrangement we have entered into, will ensure that food reaches those for whom it is intended. This arrangement, and the manner in which food will be distributed in affected areas, is the most efficient way to address the current dilemma.
The efforts outlined above are aimed at satisfying the short-term needs of the population in the affected area. Detailed planning, aimed at addressing medium and long-term challenges caused by the violence, destruction and looting, is currently underway. These arrangements will be communicated once all the detail, inter alia in respect of the manner you will be called upon to participate, is clear.
This NEASA initiative is in collaboration with the Domino Foundation (under the auspices of the Heal Our Land initiative), the Southern African Agri Initiative (SAAI) and Agri All Africa (AgriAA).
There are times that we are called upon to help others. There may be a day when others will be called upon to help us. The events of a fortnight ago will not be the last of its sort, and the participation of as many as possible is required to satisfy the enormous demand for food in the area. It is a universal truth that giving to those in need is the best investment anyone can make.