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UN: More than 1.3 million people in the southwest suffer from extreme hunger

More than 1.3 million people in southwest Angola suffer from “extreme hunger” due to the worst drought in 40 years, which has left arid fields, dry grasslands and food reserves depleted, warned the World Food Program (WFP).

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The three provinces most affected by the problem are Cunene, Huíla and Namibe, according to the United Nations World Food Programme.
"In the south of the country, families have migrated to other provinces and to neighboring Namibia in search of water and pasture for their cattle," said WFP national director for Angola, Michele Mussoni, in a statement.

"These areas have suffered the devastating effects of climate change and the current drought threatens the food security and nutrition of vulnerable people," added Mussoni.

High food prices and an infestation of locusts that have severely damaged crops are compounding the impact of the drought, making access to nutritious food in these parts of the country more difficult.

In the coming months, warned the United Nations program, the situation is likely to get worse and the number of hungry people is likely to reach 1.58 million, between October and March 2022, the lean season when food reserves traditionally run out.

The drought also affected 114,000 children under the age of five who suffer or may suffer from acute malnutrition in the next 12 months, with serious effects on their physical and mental development, according to the WFP.