WFP: 8M hungry in Southern Africa

June 30, 2005 at 3:27 PM
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UNITED NATIONS, June 30 (UPI) -- The World Food Program says more than 8 million people face starvation in southern Africa, scene of the greatest humanitarian crisis.

The head of the U.N. food agency said Thursday there is a "lethal mix" of AIDS, recurring drought and failing governance slowly destroying social structures and undermining peace and security in the region.

In much of Africa, the prevalence of chronic hunger is an accurate barometer for the level of social instability, WFP Executive-Director James Morris, told the U.N. Security Council. "It does not matter whether that instability is caused by civil conflict, drought AIDS, poor governance, or any combination of those factors - hunger almost always comes with it."

Morris opened his remarks by quoting Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo who recently said, "A hungry person is an angry person. It is in all our interests to take away the cause of that anger."

Morris, who is also U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Envoy for Humanitarian Needs in Southern Africa, singled out the region as particularly vulnerable and deserving of international attention.

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