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Hunger. Aids. Poverty. Right now many people living in southern Africa are battling all three at once. The massive food shortage affecting countries in the region is the result of a convergence of factors, some natural, like drought and floods, and some man-made. The HIV/AIDS pandemic is further complicating an already difficult situation for millions of men, women and children -- many of who are being orphaned by the disease and the hunger that is spreading across the region.
"Babies will be the main targets in the supplemental feeding programs that are scheduled to start in Malawi in early November. Other beneficiaries include kids under five, and pregnant and lactating women. CRS will work through health care structures that are already established in the country. Food rations will include corn soy blend, soya, beans, groundnuts, milk, oil, and maize flower.
October 21, 2002, Cape Town, South Africa - Catholic Relief Services (CRS) announced today the arrival of a delegation of Church representatives in southern Africa for a weeklong journey aiming to increase solidarity and promote awareness of the challenges and opportunities southern Africans face daily. The delegation will visit South Africa, Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe, where a severe HIV/AIDS and food shortage crisis threatens millions of people.
October 18, 2002, Baltimore, MD - Catholic Relief Services (CRS) announces new materials for Food Fast, the agency's annual hunger awareness program for youth. The program this year features a video, "Positively Speaking," which focuses on HIV/AIDS and the impact it is having on hunger and poverty in communities in sub-Saharan Africa. Southern Africa is currently in the grip of a drought and food shortage that threatens more than 15 million with starvation.
"Children are dropping out of school to find work for food. Those that stay in school are not productive; the teachers say they can't concentrate because of lack of nutrition. Because of this, the food crisis is likely to have long-term effects on the society. If the children are not learning now, what will their future hold?" says Eric Dsedekani, a Catholic Relief Services Project Officer in Malawi.
September 17, 2002, Lusaka, Zambia - Catholic Relief Services (CRS) will distribute 50 metric tons of white maize to vulnerable villages in the remote Shangombo district in the western part of Zambia, the agency announced today. The Zambian government provided the maize to assist villages in the district most affected by the food crisis that has hit much of southern Africa. The Government of Zambia has put a hold on the distribution of maize provided by the U.S.
As the fall approaches, concerns about the impending food crisis in Southern Africa grow. The numbers, familiar by now to many, are nonetheless staggering: 1.2 million metric tons of food needed, 13 million people in danger of starvation. "We are seeing signs in the villages of quiet desperation," said Debra Lynne Edwards, CRS Country Representative in Malawi. "As people deplete what little they had in the way of food reserves, they resort to eating immature maize or the grass that grows in their barren fields.
As the fall approaches, concerns about the impending food crisis in Southern Africa grow. The numbers, familiar by now to many, are nonetheless staggering: 1.2 million metric tons of food needed, 13 million people in danger of starvation. "We expect to see much larger numbers of people needing food aid beginning in September and October, so there is no time to waste in terms of getting food stocks out there, especially before the rains begin and roads become impassable," said Krista Riddley, CRS' Southern Africa Regional Representative.
Baltimore, August 1, 2002 =13 In response to the worsening food crisis in southern Africa, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has committed an additional $277,735 to provide emergency assistance across the region. In Malawi, where more than three million people are threatened with food shortages following the second consecutive season of crop failure, CRS is working with its local Caritas partner agency to distribute monthly rations of maize to more than 39,000 people.
The convergence of a number of factors in Southern Africa has resulted in a severe food shortage in Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique. Recent United Nations assessments warn that up to 13 million people (22 percent of the total population of the region) will need food aid, with children and persons with HIV/AIDS being especially vulnerable. Floods, drought, economic decline, lack of food stockpiles, and regional political instability have contributed to a situation that is only expected to worsen over the next few months.
Three year-old Letala Nkhaniyachuma eats banana leaves as his daily meal at his home in Masura village, east of Lilongwe, Malawi. Millions of people in Southern Africa are suffering from food shortages due to drought and the situation is expected to worsen in the coming months.
The convergence of a number of factors in Southern Africa has resulted in a worsening famine in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Between 2 and 5 million people are at risk of starvation, with children and persons with HIV/AIDS being especially vulnerable. Floods, drought, economic decline, lack of food stockpiles and regional political instability have contributed to a situation that is only expected to worsen over the next few months. Already, Malawi and Zimbabwe have declared a state of disaster.
Baltimore, May 3, 2002 - Food shortages caused by severe drought have reached critical levels in countries across southern Africa, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) reported today. The Government of Zimbabwe's announcement of a "state of disaster" is the latest event in an unfolding spectacle of hunger plaguing the region. Between 2 and 5 million people are at risk of starvation in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and countless millions more are in danger of severe malnutrition and disease.