Thursday, April 14, 2016

malawi declares state of emergency over drought

aljazeera |  Malawi has declared a state of disaster over worsening food shortages caused by a severe drought as concerns grow over a hunger crisis spreading across much of southern Africa.

Malawi's maize production has dropped by 12 percent, leaving it short of about one million tonnes of maize needed to feed the population, President Peter Mutharika said in a statement on Tuesday.

About 2.8 million Malawians - nearly 20 per cent of the population - face food insecurity, making the country one of the worst hit in southern and eastern Africa, where the current drought affects 50 million people, according to United Nation figures.

"I declare Malawi [to be in] a state of national disaster following prolonged dry spells during the 2015/16 agriculture season," the Malawian president said.

"With the increased maize deficit, it is expected that an increased number of people will be food-insecure and will require humanitarian relief assistance for the whole 2016-17 consumption year," he said.