With food prices high and crop yields low due to the delayed start of the rainy season, Mozambique’s Ministry of Agriculture yesterday revealed that 450,000 people are in urgent need of food assistance.
The ministry also announced that a further 150,000 people face critical circumstances in the central and southern provinces of the country – aggravated by the devastation caused by flooding and a drought earlier this year from which people are still recovering.
The prolonged lack of rain, which usually commences in October, is said to have raised the probability that the southern region will suffer drought conditions through to January, and the food shortage will continue through to February.
The ministry stated: ‘The families in the affected region are getting by on one meal a day, and in addition to the lack of rain and high food prices, there is a lack of food reserves’.
Mozambique is said to be suffering an acute food shortage and the government has asked the U.N. World Food Programme to raise humanitarian aid in seven provinces until the next harvest in April 2009.