UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema has urged government to declare the hunger situation in the country as a national disaster so that international support can be galvanized.

And Hichilema has warned against playing politics over the matter when citizens are dying of starvation.

In a statement, Thursday, Hichilema stated that government should not shy away from soliciting international support in order to avert starvation.

“We call on Mr. Edgar Lungu and his Government to immediately declare the hunger situation in the country as a national disaster in order to galvanize international support. The hunger situation in our country due to drought and other factors is attaining unprecedented levels not witnessed in a long time in this region. Government should not shy away from calling for international support to avert severe starvation that is taking a heavy toll on the population,” Hichilema said.

“Let’s not play politics on such matters when citizens are starving to death. There is no winner or loser in such situations if we all come together and ask for international assistance to help our vulnerable communities on the verge of starvation. Let us for once take a common stand and put our political differences aside for the sake of our citizens in order to attain this object to avert an impending life threatening situation. Please let the Executive declare hunger as national disaster immediately.”

He insisted that hunger was a non partisan matter.

“This is a none partisan matter that needs concerted efforts in order to mobilize resources to help our starving citizens across the country. We can only raise such resources if the Executive can be bold enough to raise an alarm to both our local and international cooperating partners that we need urgent assistance to deal with a disaster on our hands,” said Hichilema, who offered to use his connections to mobilize resources locally, regionally and internationally.