JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- Poor harvests across much of southern Africa mean that nearly 30 million people will struggle to get adequate nutrition in the months ahead, the United Nations said Monday.
"Food insecurity" will be most acute in Malawi, Zimbabwe and Madagascar, which suffered extreme crop failure because of drought, and there are also food concerns in Lesotho and the southern parts of Angola and Mozambique, U.N. agencies said in a statement. Botswana and Namibia also suffered severe drought earlier this year, but the food risks there are not considered as serious, according to the agencies.
The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Food Programme said they plan to step up operations in southern Africa, citing data that show there will be about 27.4 million people facing food insecurity in the region in the next six months.
The agencies define food insecurity as struggling to "buy or produce enough nutritious food to lead a healthy life."
The El Nino weather phenomenon could lead to another poor season of rainfall, exacerbating the nutrition problem, the United Nations said.