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UPDATE 1-Record 45 mln people across Southern Africa face hunger- U.N. food agency

Reuters | Rome | Updated: 16-01-2020 19:05 IST | Created: 16-01-2020 19:02 IST
UPDATE 1-Record 45 mln people across Southern Africa face hunger- U.N. food agency
Representative Image Image Credit: Pixabay

The United Nations World Food Programme said on Thursday that a record 45 million people in the 16-nation Southern African Development Community faced growing hunger following repeated drought, widespread flooding, and economic disarray.

Southern Africa is in the grips of a severe drought, as climate change wreaks havoc in impoverished countries already struggling to cope with extreme natural disasters, such as Cyclone Idai which devastated Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi in 2019. Zimbabwe, once the breadbasket of southern Africa, is experiencing its worst economic crisis in a decade, marked by soaring inflation and shortages of food, fuel, medicines, and electricity.

"This hunger crisis is on a scale we've not seen before and the evidence shows it's going to get worse," the WFP's Regional Director for Southern Africa, Lola Castro, said in a statement. "The annual cyclone season has begun and we simply cannot afford a repeat of the devastation caused by last year's unprecedented storms."

The agency plans to provide "lean season" assistance to 8.3 million people grappling with "crisis" or "emergency" levels of hunger in eight of the hardest-hit countries, which include Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Madagascar, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini and Malawi.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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