Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Droughts could push parts of Africa back into famine

Drought and erratic rains could lead to further food scarcities in Africa warns the United Nations World Food Program (WFP). The WFP singles out South Sudan, the world's newest nation, and Niger as nations of particular concern. Earlier this year famine killed scores of people, including an estimated 30,000 children, in Somalia. In South Sudan drought and ongoing conflict threaten food supplies for 2.7 million people.

"A gathering storm of hunger is approaching South Sudan, caused by crop failure and market disruption," said WFP director in South Sudan, Chris Nikoi. "Food prices have already doubled or tripled in some areas, leaving hundreds of thousands of children vulnerable to malnutrition at a key developmental stage of their young lives." 

The WFP states it is upping operations to feed more people in the new nation in 2012, but warns that lack of infrastructure and land mines makes travel difficult. It says it needs emergency funds of nearly $100 million for food services in South Sudan for the first quarter of 2012.

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