Southern Africa: 4 million at risk from starvation

4 million people are in danger of starving to death in southern Africa, due to a series of flood/drought cycles, according to the Food Administration Organisation, FAO.

The situation is particularly alarming in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe but also affects Mozambique, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland. The series of floods and droughts means that it has been impossible to plant and harvest crops for a number of years. Food supplies are currently stretched to the limit in these countries and there is already a rupture in some areas.

The harvest of maize, the staple crop, has again failed this year, leading the FAO report to indicate that there are “acute food shortages”, leading to soaring prices, “undermining access to food for large sections of (the) populations” in the countries affected. In other areas of Africa, the situation is slightly better than it was at the same time last year, according to the report, namely in Rwanda, Burundi, eastern Africa and the Sahara region, although other countries at civil war, such as Sierra Leone and Liberia, will continue to be dependant upon the international community for their food.

The World Food Programme has complained that donations of food from the developed countries has been “sluggish” and claims that “much more must be done to stave off the spread of hunger and malnutrition”.


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