Senior U.N. relief officials Wednesday called for the world to refocus its attention on the chronic problems and humanitarian needs of millions of people in the region.
"Emergencies come and go, but we are now in an acute phase of a chronic problem and the effects of this are going to be with us for generations to come," said James Morris, the U.N. special envoy for humanitarian needs in Southern Africa.
Also executive director of the U.N.'s Rome-based World Food Program, Morris is in the region on an 11-day, four-nation assessment mission, along with Ann Veneman, executive director of the U.N. Children's Fund, UNICEF.
Said Morris: "This is not about one issue or one country. Many factors are converging to undermine livelihoods of millions of people in southern Africa."