Burundi may have to endure five months of food shortages starting in August because of the early arrival of the dry season, a United Nations spokesman reported today.
The dry season will bring a sharp drop in bean production, Fred Eckhard told the press in New York. In addition, a virus has devastated cassava plants in the northern and eastern provinces.
Recent nutritional surveys by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) show that in the north-eastern provinces of Ngozi, Kayanza and Bubanza, 10 per cent of children aged between six months and five years are suffering from acute malnutrition. Chronic malnutrition in the same age group is now 61 per cent, Mr. Eckhard said.