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International News

HIV/AIDS Contributing to Rising Hunger in Southern Africa

September 21, 2005

Approximately 10.7 million people are facing famine in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique, in part because of high HIV/AIDS prevalence rates, South Africa's Sunday Independent reports. "Hunger has once again returned to haunt Southern Africa," Michael Huggins, U.N. World Food Programme regional spokesperson, said, adding, "We need urgent assistance now to avert a major catastrophe." High HIV/AIDS prevalence causes many households to spend limited funds on health care instead of agriculture, and a lack of human capacity because of the disease is one of many factors threatening food security in the region, according to the Independent. In Malawi -- which has an HIV prevalence rate of about 24% -- about four million of its 11 million people are in need of urgent assistance, and one million are children under age five, UNICEF country representative for Malawi Aida Girma said. In Lesotho, more than 450,000 people are estimated to need food aid in the next year, and of the country's 2.2 million residents, about 30% have HIV (Peta et al., Sunday Independent, 9/18). Many HIV-positive people cannot work because of their health, a situation that "is affecting their household economy," Mads Lofvall, country director for WFP in Lesotho, said, adding that "people are just going to go hungry" (SABC News, 9/18).

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Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2005 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.



  
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
 
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