WFP: Drought may hit food supply in Horn of Africa

Reuters, Wednesday 19 Jan 2011

Growing signs of drought in the Horn of Africa could lead to food shortages in Somalia, Sudan and Ethiopia, while rising food prices may put its budget under pressure, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Wednesday


"Certain regions that are prone to drought and weather variation are showing signs of cyclical food shortages," Sheila Sisulu, deputy executive director with the U.N. agency, told Reuters. "The Horn of Africa immediately comes to mind.

"Much as they (Ethiopia) have some areas where they have enough grain, the Somali area is also being affected not only by the fighting but also what seems like a drought developing," she said on a visit to London.

Sisulu said the WFP sourced most of its food from local countries it operated in and was "cautiously optimistic" about volatile prices in global markets.

"The analysis out there is saying that the impact on wheat is not as bad as it was in 2008," she said.

"But given the floods in Pakistan in particular and of course in Australia, now Brazil, all the major grain producing countries that also produce wheat we might see a problem as the year goes on."

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