About 6 million people in Southern Africa face food shortages: IFRC

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Zimbabwe farmer

An estimated 6 million people across Southern Africa are at risk of disease and malnutrition as a result of severe food shortages.

The warning comes from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) which says the food crisis in the region has been largely underreported in the global media.

Jessica Sallabank, the IFRC spokesperson in Geneva says the countries most affected by the food crisis are Angola, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Malawi.

"An estimated six million people are thought to be at risk across those four countries. There is a severe shortage of food which has led to hunger, which has led to an increase in malnutrition and disease for millions of people, particularly the elderly, the sick and small children. The situation is being caused by chronic cycle of droughts or floods or by weather patterns and erratic rainfall that are becoming increasingly difficult to predict. It's important to say this is not a new crisis. This is a chronic situation." (29")

Ms. Sallabank expressed concern over the ability of people to recover from this long-standing problem in Southern Africa.

She says life can be very difficult for the people if there is no food in reserve during the lean season between the final planting at the end of January and the harvesting of the crops at the end of March.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1'15"

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