A newly-published report has warned that some 16 million people in east and the Horn of Africa will face food shortages this year.
"As many as 16 million people require emergency food and non-food aid during 2004 (in the region.), Different forms of livelihood support may be needed for another seven million to eight million people who are moderately food insecure and coping, but whose food security conditions could deteriorate in the comingmonths," the US Agency for International Development-funded FamineEarly Warning System said in a monthly food security report published in Nairobi Thursday.
"Food insecurity in some countries in the region has continued to deteriorate mainly because of increasing chronic vulnerability,compounded by conflict and inadequate rainfall," the report said.
The report cited about 184,000 Kenyans in need of food aid and supplementary feeding and another 900,000 in need of other types of assistance, saying, "Some of these people are highly food insecure, needing food aid."
Meanwhile, the report said the possible realization of peace inthe Sudan, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Somalia could eventually allow people to resettle and produce their own food, which will boost food security in Africa.
However, "consistent and adequate humanitarian assistance will continue to be needed (in the region)...(and) failing to provide needed humanitarian support could result in unprecedented crises caused by severe competition for available but scarce resources," the report noted.