Saturday, 1 December 2012

Hunger Season Starts in Southern Africa

December is the beginning of the hunger season in Southern Africa. This year will be worse than most after severe drought conditions affected millions of families, particularly in Zimbabwe, Malawi and Lesotho. Prices have sky-rocketed and staple foods are hard to find. Maize prices are up 60 percent in Lesotho and 80 percent in Malawi. Farmers have long since sold off key assets like livestock.
"Large numbers of smallholder farmers and their families are in the grip of what is set to be one of the harshest hunger seasons of recent years," says Brenda Barton, WFP Deputy Regional Director for Southern Africa.

The WFP is gearing up to assist 3.5 million people in the region. Current funding shortfall in Malawi alone is US$14 million.

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