Southern Africa: Food crisis could go from bad to worse—UN

| December 14, 2015

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Close to 29 million people in southern Africa are facing food shortages because of this season’s poor harvest. And worse could be on the way, according to the UN aid agency, OCHA.

OCHA warned in a recent report: “Serious concerns are mounting that southern Africa will this coming season face another poor harvest, possibly a disastrous one.”

Southern Africa’s cereal harvest fell by almost a quarter this year to 34 million tonnes. Major food shortages are affecting Malawi, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Madagascar. In lightly populated Lesotho and Namibia, 30 per cent of rural people are classified as “food insecure.”

Yolanda Cowan is a humanitarian officer at OCHA. She says, “The crisis has been to an extent mitigated by the region’s grain reserves, but they are now largely exhausted.”

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Photo credit: Olivier Moeckli/ICRC