THOUSANDS of people at risk of starvation in Southern Africa will receive emergency food packs and urgent humanitarian help thanks to a £50,000 boost from the Worcestershire Freemasons.
The cash has been sent to Plan International UK, a children’s charity which strives to advance children’s rights and equality for girls all over the world.
An estimated 45million people are likely to be affected by record high temperatures and low rainfall, which has led to the worst drought for 35 years.
The world-famous Victoria Falls has become a trickle and Lake Kariba, a critical water source for both Zambia and Zimbabwe, is only 16 per cent full.
An estimated 70 per cent of rural water sources in Zimbabwe have dried up and last year cyclones Idai and Kenneth caused widespread and destructive flooding across the region.
Combined with the volatile political and economic situation in many states, food prices have risen sharply, families have been forced to reduce the quantity and frequency of meals, and often forgo healthcare. Many children are missing school to help support their families, affecting their long-term futures.
Rose Caldwell, Plan International UK chief executive, said the organisation was grateful for the generous grant.
Jonathan Swift, from the Worcestershire Freemasons, added the group was pleased to help.
“Freemasons from Worcestershire have contributed to the grant that comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.”