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Food Crisis, AIDS Plague Southern Africa

July 23, 2002

In response to the deadly combination of hunger and AIDS plaguing southern Africa, the International Federation of the Red Cross launched a $62 million appeal Monday to help feed those most in need. "The combination of hunger and AIDS is creating a terrible tragedy, which the world needs to respond to," said McBain Kanongodza, secretary-general of the Malawi Red Cross. The hunger crisis, caused in part by poor weather, has been worsened by the AIDS epidemic, poor management of grain reserves and ill-considered land reform programs. The Red Cross will attempt to target part of its efforts at households most affected by AIDS by using local social service workers to identify families who have lost their breadwinners to the disease. Officials said more than half the food recipients will be children, many of them AIDS orphans. In its appeal, the Red Cross said that with so many people ill and dying, the capacity to grow food has decreased. The food shortage, which is expected to peak in the next few months, has left an estimated 12.8 million people at risk of going hungry.

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Excerpted from:
Associated Press
07.22.02; Dina Kraft

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