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New York (dpa) - At least 38 million people in Africa are threatened by hunger, caused mostly by a drought that is extending from the Horn of Africa to the southern part of the continent, the World Food Programme (WFP) said Tuesday.
WFP director James Morris told the U.N. Security Council in an open meeting that the lack of political will remains the only obstacle to help those in needs.
''This is an unprecedented crisis, which calls for an unprecedented response,'' Morris said.
Lusaka (dpa) - Food security in Zambia has worsened with over half of the country now facing severe food shortages, leaving more than three million people threatened with starvation, a government spokesman said Thursday.
Giving a report on the food security position of the drought-stricken country, Vice President Enock Kavindele told parliament the domestic food deficit had been estimated at 760,000 tons against a total national requirement of 1.5 million tons.
Of this 640,000 tons is a maize shortfall. Maize is the principal staple food.
Lusaka (dpa) - Zambia is to receive 50 million dollars in credit from the World Bank (WB) for current drought and food shortages in the country, a government spokesman said Tuesday.
According to Finance Minister Emmanuel Kasonde, the WB funds will be released under the Emergency Drought Recovery Project (EDRP), and will go towards logistical and humanitarian support in ongoing food distribution.
The EDRP is an emergency credit facility that the WB gives to member countries to enable them deal with the effects of drought.
Lusaka (dpa) - Zambian authorities on Tuesday dispatched a police contingent to the country's Southern Province to investigate reports of people dying of hunger and from eating poisonous wild roots.
The country's National Food and Nutritional Commission also confirmed that pellagra, a disease caused by a nutritional deficiency, has broken out in the Southern Province.
Lusaka (dpa) - Starving villagers in Zambia's Southern Province at the weekend looted stocks of genetically modified food, which is banned by the government, the state-owned broadcaster reported Monday.
According to the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZBBC), hungry villagers looted more than 500 bags of grain from a storeroom, each bag weighing 50 kilogrammes.
ZNBC televised pictures of helpless starving women and children on the brink of death in southern and western Zambia.
Harare (dpa) - The famine enveloping much of Southern Africa will expose millions of hungry people to preventable diseases and more than a quarter of a million could die by February next year, World Health Organisation head Gro Harlem Brundtland said Tuesday.
Washington (dpa) - At the Earth Summit starting next week, the United States is set to announce about 2.8 billion dollars in new development aid for Africa, senators with the opposition Democrats said Wednesday.
Together with ongoing fiscal 2002 funding to fight AIDS and hunger and protect the environment in Africa, total funding is to reach almost 4.5 billion dollars, they said.
A draft plan handed to congressional staffers this week details funding for several projects that Secretary of State Colin Powell was due to announce at the Johannesburg meeting.
President George W.
Tokyo (dpa) - Japan plans to pledge about 30 million dollars in emergency aid to countries in southern Africa in the wake of the region's worsening food crisis, a Japanese newspaper reported on Friday.
According to the Yomiuri Shimbun, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi will announce the assistance measure during the August 26-September 4 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg.
Lusaka (dpa) - A U.S. official urged the Zambian government Monday to quickly make a decision on genetically modified (GM) grain, warning the deteriorating situation in the country would soon lead to more starvation deaths.
"This famine is very dangerous and it's going to kill a lot of people if decisions are not made quickly," Roger Winter of the U.S. Agency for International Development Assistance (USAID) said.
Due to health concerns raised over GM food, Zambia and its southern neighbour, Zimbabwe has in the interim rejected GM food aid.
Lusaka (dpa) - A United Nations team Wednesday launched an appeal for emergency food aid for Zambia, saying the country would require assistance worth 71.4 million dollars.
Food supplies in most parts of the country were depleted, the U.N. country team said.
Richard Regan, country director of the World Food Programme, told donors at the launch of the Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP) hundreds of lives would be lost if food was not delivered to the country's drought-stricken areas.
''We need to start moving now in an effective way,'' Regan said.
Lusaka (dpa) - Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa has declared a national food disaster, saying around four million people in this southern African country faced severe hunger and famine.
Speaking on state television late Wednesday, Mwanawasa said the country's food stocks would run out in 90 days' time because reserves had been completely depleted.
''Stocks are expected to be depleted in July or August and the current food stocks can only cater for six million people,'' said Mwanawasa.