Wild Weather Has 12 Million Southern Africans Facing Hunger

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Drought and floods have destroyed harvests across the region as expensive food imports could spur inflation, worsen poverty, writes Bloomberg journalist, Matthew Hill reports.  

As many as 9.2 million people in southern Africa face severe food insecurity as a result of extreme weather conditions, and the number is forecast to rise to 12 million by March, according to the United Nations.

“Parts of southern Africa have experienced their lowest rainfall since 1981,” the organization said in an emailed statement Friday. “Others have endured the destruction of cyclones Idai and Kenneth, causing food insecurity, malnutrition and disease to increase in multiple countries.”

The resulting food shortage means countries from Angola to Zimbabwe will need to import 3.5 million tons of cereal in the current marketing season, according to a July report by the Southern African Development Community. Costly imports threaten to drive up inflation that’s already rampant in many of these countries, adding further pressure on some of the world’s poorest people.

According to the UN, countries in the region facing the most severe risk of food shortages are:

ELVIS MBOYA is Content editor at Investigative Africa. He is a journalist, Business Daily Africa (Nation Media Group - Kenya), former East Africa correspondent, Southern Times Africa (Zimbabwe, Namibia, & SADC), & Communication assistant, Kenya High Commission-Windhoek. Email: elvis.mboya@yahoo.com