Millions face hunger in 10 African countries

Poor rains and high crop prices have left more than 18-million people with serious food shortages in 10 African countries, a food-security monitoring group said.

Diminishing water supplies and dry pastures also are fuelling conflict among rival tribes, and child malnutrition is reportedly rising in parts the Greater Horn of Africa region, the United States-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network said in a report released late on Tuesday.

The food shortages are concentrated in Ethiopia, where more than half of the 18-million affected people live, the report said.

At least half of neighbouring Eritrea’s population of 4,5-million is in peril, as well as 2,69-million in Uganda, the report said.

Other countries affected are Sudan, Djibouti, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi and Somalia, it said.

“In agricultural areas, rainfall performance and crop prospects are mixed,” the report said. “Crop production in eastern and coastal areas of the [region] will be below average, due to insufficient and poorly distributed rainfall.”

Members of cattle-herding communities “continue to be the most food-insecure and vulnerable group”, according to the report.—Sapa-AP