In January 2020, we donated £50,000 to Plan International UK to provide emergency food packs to thousands of people at risk of starvation in southern Africa.
An estimated 45 million people across southern Africa were affected by record high temperatures and low rainfall, which led to the worst drought for 35 years.
The world-famous Victoria Falls became a trickle and Lake Kariba, a critical water source for both Zambia and Zimbabwe, was only 16 per cent full. An estimated 70 per cent of rural water sources in Zimbabwe had dried up.
Only the previous year, Cyclones Idai and Kenneth caused widespread and very destructive flooding across the region, leaving already fragile communities in a poor state to deal with a fresh disaster.
Combined with the volatile political and economic situation in many states, the price of food rose sharply. Families were forced to reduce the quantity and frequency of meals, and often forgo healthcare. Many children were missing school to help support their families, affecting their long-term futures.
Rose Caldwell, Chief Executive of Plan International UK, said: