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SEATTLE - Save the Children and CARE have received grants totaling $4.75 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help avert famine in southern and eastern Africa. More than 22 million people - 14 million in southern Africa and at least 8 million in eastern Africa - are at risk of disease, malnutrition, or starvation resulting from severe droughts and the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
WESTPORT, Conn., Oct. 15, 2002 - On the eve of World Food Day, Save the Children, a leading global development and relief organization, is urging the Bush Administration and U.S. Congress to prioritize three strategic areas in the FY2003 and FY2004 foreign assistance budgets to help prevent food shortages in the developing world, such as the one ravaging the lives of more than 14 million people, most of them women and children, in southern Africa.
Southern Africa is in the throes of an acute humanitarian crisis that is having countrywide impacts in Angola, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe, as well as affecting significant populations in Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland. It is estimated that, across the entire region, 7.5 million (plus a further 1.9 million in Angola) people already require immediate food assistance; a figure that will rise to 16.3 million over the January -March 2003 period. Of those in need, at least 60% are under the age of 18 years.
At a glance
Around 14 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance as a result of the food insecurity crisis that is spreading across southern Africa. The International Save the Children Alliance is launching an appeal to provide a long-term, targeted response in Angola, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Immediate assistance is needed to avert humanitarian catastrophe
Save the Children UK said today that UN food aid plans to ensure 13 million people in Southern Africa do not go hungry have been compromised by a seriously flawed assumption.
Save the Children UK (SCUK) is calling on delegates at this week's meeting convened by the UN on the Southern Africa food crisis to come up with a clear and realistic plan on how to prevent a tragedy on a massive scale.
Save the Children UK has begun giving food to hundreds of thousands of people in need in famine-stricken Malawi. This is the second phase of the largest such food distribution programme by any aid agency during the current crisis.
A major food shortage is affecting six countries in Southern Africa, most critically in Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia. Significant problems are also occurring in Swaziland and Lesotho, and amongst populations of internally displaced people in Angola. Acute food shortages are being reported in both rural and urban areas. FAO-GIEWS estimates that over two million people in all three countries urgently require food assistance. While 460,000 MT of food is required to sustain the region, just 130,000 of this has been sourced, leaving a 333,000 MT shortfall.