More than 41 million people in Southern Africa face food insecurity: trade bloc

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 15, 2016 11:56 AM

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - An estimated 41 million people are food insecure with 21 million people requiring immediate assistance in Southern Africa, a regional economic bloc said on Wednesday, after a drought ravaged the region.

The Southern African Development Community director for food, agriculture and natural resources, Margaret Nyirenda, said in a statement that a new report also showed that nearly 2.7 million children are suffering from severe acute malnutrition.

Southern Africa has been hard hit over the past year by an El Niño inspired drought that has wilted crops, slowed economic growth and driven food prices higher.

The weather woes have been largely attributed to the powerful El Nino system, a warming of ocean surface temperatures in the eastern and central Pacific that occurs every few years with global consequences.

(Writing by Nqobile Dludla; Editing by James Macharia)