In Latin America, Bolivian authorities in seven municipalities have declared states of emergency due to dry conditions damaging 80% of crops. Municipalities like Lagunillas that rarely ever experienced droughts in the past now have lost all their crops.
Honduras also declared a state of emergency on March 23 due to drought and famine, and across the world the Philippines has also witnessed crop failure from drought that impacted 23 provinces.
In China, prolonged lack of rain has stricken at least five the southwestern provinces, with the nation’s State Forestry Administration reporting that the persistent drought has damaged young saplings and animal habitats, as well as increasing the risk of forest fires.
To help counter these effects, the Chinese government allocated US$586 million for emergency relief to supply water to over 19 million affected people.
Meanwhile, in South Sudan, drought and conflict has caused sudden alarming increased rates of malnutrition.
Aid agencies warn of a food shortage crisis, where nearly half of the children under five are malnourished.
Finally, in the United States, California’s director of the Department of Water Resources, Mark Cowin expressed concern of this year’s expected water shortages.
However, in a brief respite from such conditions, California welcomed the blessing of rains over the Easter weekend in early April that have helped replenish some main water reservoirs.
And in central Âu Lạc (Vietnam), several months of hot dry weather have been relieved by a rain that has provided much-needed moisture for thousands of hectares of coffee and other crops.
We thank all the governments for their efforts to relieve the suffering from these acute drought conditions as we pray that the dry spells being endured by many countries is alleviated with our better care for the planet and each other.
In an October 2009 videoconference in Formosa (Taiwan), Supreme Master Ching Hai once again expressed her deep concern and sympathy for the drought-afflicted, urging for actions to curb its impact.