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|CAPE TOWN， July 7 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has started relief distributions of food assistance in Swaziland in response to rising hunger due to the worst drought in the region in more than two decades， the agency said on Thursday.
Some 350，000 people， nearly a third of the population of Swaziland are in urgent need of food assistance， according to the Swaziland Vulnerability and Assessment Committee.
"Many rural communities are in the grip of hunger and this is set to continue until at least the harvest next April，"said Alberto Mendes， WFP Country Director in Swaziland.
"We're working with the government and donors to mobilize assistance， but without more funding we will not be able to continue to assist those most in need，"he added.
The first cycle of distributions by WFP and non-government partners has targeted 78，000 people in the worst-affected areas of the country in support of the National Disaster Management Agency.
WFP plans to reach 100，000 people in August and to scale up again to reach some 150，000 people by the height of the lean season in early 2017 through a combination of food and cash assistance. The Swazi government has also committed substantial resources to assist those in need.
The government declared a state of emergency in February and launched its National Emergency Response， Mitigation and Adaptation Plan requiring almost 85 million U.S.dollars， of which some 61 million U.S.dollars has yet to be secured.
"The government is aware of the needs created by the drought and appreciates the support by partners like WFP whose efforts complement those of the government， especially in providing food assistance to those who need it the most，"said Russell Dlamini， the Chief Executive Officer of the National Disaster Management Agency.
The United Nations has contributed 2.8 million U.S.dollars to food relief through its Central Emergency Response Fund.
However， WFP still requires more than 10 million U.S.dollars to scale up its operations to meet needs of the most vulnerable through the lean season into next year.
Swaziland is among the countries in the region hardest hit by two years of successive drought， most recently as a result of the El Ni？o effect in Southern Africa.
During the last agricultural season， many farmers in Swaziland planted not just once but twice， only to see their crops wither and die in the ground. Parents at WFP food distributions have reported going hungry themselves in order to feed their children.
Water sources have declined by more than 50 percent in Swaziland due to the lack of rain. Contributing to the hardship faced by many in food costs jump， maize prices have more than doubled since last year.
TOKYO Nike Air Max 90 Sale , Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed on Friday to boost economic growth in three years and to improve women's involvement in the society.
Abe made the remarks after dissolving the parliament's lower house earlier in the day in what he called a legitimate move to delay second sales tax hike by 18 months to April 2017.
The prime minister said the dissolution of the lower house was aimed at letting the voters to judge his economic policies dubbed "Abenomics," pledging that he will make sure that the economic benefits will be felt nationwide.
Abe said he will continue to step up efforts to boost women's involvement in works and social affairs. "We will stick to our goal of creating a society where women can shine," he told a televised press briefing.
The prime minister has made his cabinet as a test field for his "womenomics" by ushering five female ministers in a cabinet reshuffle in September Nike Air Max 2017 Sale , but two of them stepped down due to misuse of political funds in October and the other three worshipped the notorious war-linked Yasukuni Shrine, a move always angers Japan's neighboring countries.
Along with other nine bills, a priority bill for Abe's government to empower women Nike Air Max 2018 Sale , however, failed to pass during the Diet session ending on Nov. 30, according to local reports.
Abe said he will implement current social security reform plan despite the delay of the second tax hike. The tax change aims at boosting Japan's tax revenue to address snowballing social security costs brought by an aging society.
Meanwhile Nike Air Max Sale , Yukio Edano, secretary general of Japan's major opposition the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), slammed Abe's decision to dissolve the lower house Air Max 90 Sale , saying the "Abenomics" only helped the surge of Japan's stocks market, but left heavier burden on people's daily life and enlarged the gap between the rich and the poor.
Unpopular issues like the Special Secrecy Law, rights to collective self-defense and restart of nuclear power plants will be also focused in the upcoming election Air Max 2017 Sale , according to Abe and the opposition camp that wants to stop Abe's "runaway policy."
Latest polls by the Asahi Shimbun newspaper said 62 percent of respondents opposed the lower house dissolution and 65 percent do not accept Abe's excuse -- to delay the sales tax hike -- to dissolve the chamber, compared to 18 percent that support the move and 25 percent accept the reason for dissolution.
About 37 percent said they will vote for the Abe's Liberal Democratic Party in the proportional representation, ranking top among Japan's political parties Air Max 2018 Sale , followed by the DPJ with 13 percent, according to the poll.
Another poll by Japan's Kyodo News showed over 50 percent of respondents want to see a more balanced lower house between the ruling party or bloc and the opposition camp.
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