FAO issues food warnings for Sahel and Central African Republic

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Desertification and land degradation threaten millions of people in the Sahara and Sahel – FAO

Food security conditions in several parts of Africa and elsewhere are deteriorating, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

FAO warns that in the Sahelian countries of West Africa – Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal – crops and pastures have been affected this year by the late onset and early cessation of rains. It says the situation could lead to a new surge in food insecurity and malnutrition in the 2013/14 marketing year.

And it notes that a large Malian population displacement due to civil unrest is also contributing to regional food insecurity.

The UN food agency also noted that in Central African Republic, 1.3 million people are in need of emergency food assistance due to civil unrest.

And in Southern Africa, prices of cereals are near or at record levels in several countries, underpinned by tighter supplies in the 2013/14 marketing year. Dry weather has delayed planting of the 2014 crops in parts.

In Syria and Yemen, continued civil conflicts have resulted in severe food insecurity for 6 million and 4.5 million people, respectively, requiring emergency food assistance.

Word of this comes as new FAO estimates show that world cereal production will reach a new high of almost 2,500 million tonnes, including rice in milled terms. The figure is almost 8.4 percent more than last year, according to the latest issue of the Crop Prospects and Food Situation Report.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration:  1’24″


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