World Food Programme Requests Additional Aid To Provide Food in Southern Africa, Says HIV/AIDS Contributing to Shortages
The U.N. World Food Programme on Monday said it will need an additional $212 million in aid through March 2006 to support the more than 10 million people facing possible food shortages in Southern Africa, where HIV/AIDS is hampering agricultural production and economic development, Reuters/Arizona Daily Star reports. The large number of farmers dying from AIDS-related causes is placing a financial strain on many families in the region who have exhausted their food stocks. Aid workers say without donations of food and money to alleviate shortages, the situation will worsen by early 2006. "We always raise the alarm in plenty of time, but it's rare to receive enough food to cover critical food needs at the right time," WFP Executive Director James Morris said, adding, "Timely contributions ... go a long way to helping hungry people before they become starving people." Although the U.S. recently pledged $52 million to WFP for its work in Southern Africa, other donors have been slow to react, according to WFP officials. Last week, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan wrote to 27 heads of state, the African Development Bank and the European Union to ask for emergency donations (Reuters/Arizona Daily Star, 8/16).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.