Threat of Starvation Looms in Southern Africa

HARARE, Zimbabwe, JUNE 12, 2002 ( Caritas´ office in Britain warns that starvation threatens southern Africa with disaster if more help isn´t forthcoming.

A report written by Richard Miller and James Thornberry, Harare-based members of the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD), outlines the fallout of the region´s three-year drought.

Malawi will exhaust its food reserves in August, the report warned. Such a catastrophe would necessitate the contribution of 600,000 tons of food, the report said. Zambia and Angola face similar situations.

By August 2001, cases of malnutrition were already recorded, a nurse in the Zomba Diocese of Malawi said. Even more at risk are the country´s 800,000 AIDS sufferers, the nurse said. The country has 10.5 million people.

Caritas has reinforced its program of food distribution in Zimbabwe, which calls for additional funding of about 4.5 million euro to feed some 200,000 people and to distribute seeds among farmers.