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23 African Countries Facing Food Emergencies

23 African Countries Facing Food Emergencies This Summer – UN Report

Millions of people in 23 sub-Saharan countries are facing a food emergency this summer caused in part by erratic rains, civil strife and desert locusts, according to a new United Nations report released today.

The forecast comes despite an overall decline in the region’s food aid requirements – to 2.9 million tons compared to around 4 million tons last year, says the Africa Report, produced by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and partly based on joint FAO/World Food Programme (WFP) assessment missions to affected countries throughout the year.

The report says violence is offsetting a good harvest in Sudan. The humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region has had grave consequences for food security, with more than 1.2 million people forced from their homes and fields.

The study points to reports which “paint a grim picture where the conflict has engulfed almost all parts of Greater Darfur, disrupting agricultural production and other essential activities.”

In East Africa, poor rains and the lingering effects of past droughts and conflicts have increased the likelihood of serious food shortages in several countries. Meanwhile in West Africa, conflict and the locust invasion are leading to problems in that region despite a good harvest last year.

Civil strife is also undermining food security in Central Africa, according to the report, while southern Africa is beset by HIV/AIDS and drought.

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