UN agency launches $25 million emergency project for southern Africa food crisis

UN agency launches $25 million emergency project for southern Africa food crisis

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The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today launched a $25 million appeal to help seven million people in southern Africa severely hit by a severe food crisis.

The money would help finance 13 agricultural emergency interventions in Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe, FAO said in a statement released at its headquarters in Rome. The request is part of the UN Consolidated National Appeals for the Humanitarian Crisis in Southern Africa.

According to FAO, nearly 10 million people of the sub-region were currently facing severe food shortages brought about in part by drought and floods. The problem has been aggravated by several structural, chronic and political problems, such as the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS on the continent, lack of public financial resources, low purchasing power, poor management of strategic grain reserves, land degradation, and land reform activities, particularly in Zimbabwe.

The most affected countries are Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe, FAO said.