UN: 8 Million Urgently Need Food in Horn of Africa

Posted June 14th, 2011 at 2:20 pm (UTC-5)
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The United Nations food agency says more than eight million people in the Horn of Africa need emergency food aid due to the ongoing drought in the region.

The Food and Agriculture Organization warned Tuesday that food is urgently needed in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia.

The agency said the region has had below-average rainfall for two straight seasons, resulting in failed crops and the loss of livestock and grazing resources.

As a result of food shortages, U.N. officials say acute malnutrition has become widespread in the region. They said the problem is likely to grow worse because droughts are occurring more frequently.

The agency says crop and cattle farmers must adjust to realities of more extreme weather.

FAO economic Shukri Ahmed told VOA that countries are implementing their own short-term solutions to the drought. But he added long-range plans are needed to deal with the uncertainties brought on by climate change.