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After a year that has seen The Salvation Army responding to disasters throughout the world, including the South Asian tsunami, the hurricanes and mudslides that swept across the Americas and the South Asia Earthquake, The Salvation Army is again focusing on the increasing famine crisis in the Sub-Saharan region of Africa.
Resources to avert a major famine in sub-Saharan Africa are needed now, according to a Salvation Army consultant, Major Cedric Hills, who has just returned from the region. Major Hills, Field Operations Officer at The Salvation Army's International Emergency Services Office in London, England, has produced relief programme plans for The Salvation Army to begin supporting thousands of families affected by poor harvests in countries including Malawi and Zambia. The World Food Programme (WFP) has warned that up to 12.8 million people are on the brink of starvation.
"At least 10 million people face starvation in four southern African countries unless the international community acts swiftly," United Nations (UN) agencies have warned. Serious maize shortages, which first became a problem towards the end of 2001, have become even worse this year. Flooding in several areas, followed by a period of drought, has led to a developing food crisis of mammoth proportions.