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Malawi Declares State of Emergency Over Drought

Malawi has declared a state of disaster over worsening food shortages caused by a severe drought as concerns grow over a hunger crisis spreading across much of southern Africa.

Malawi's maize production has dropped by 12%, leaving it short of about 1 million tonnes of maize needed to feed the population, President Peter Mutharika said in a statement on Tuesday.

About 2.8 million Malawians - nearly 20% of the population - face food insecurity, making the country one of the worst hit in southern and eastern Africa, where the current drought affects 50 million people, according to UN figures.

"I declare Malawi [in] a state of national disaster following prolonged dry spells during the 2015/16 agriculture season," the Malawi's president said.

"With the increased maize deficit, it is expected that an increased number of people will be food insecure and will require humanitarian relief assistance for the whole 2016-17 consumption year," he said.


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