Malawi food appeal unanswered by world community

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Friday, September 9, 2005

Location of Malawi

The United Nations have called upon member states to donate US$88m to fight hunger in Malawi. So far, not a single country responded.

U.N Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland launched an appeal ten days ago and especially called upon nations in the Persian Gulf, who are benefiting from the current high oil prices, to donate. "There are many countries in the Gulf and elsewhere who have received an enormous windfall from these oil prices. We can save a life for a $1 a day", Egeland said.

Malawi is one the poorest countries in the world. The majority of the population live on less than one US dollar a day. Four million people out of a population of ten million face hunger every single day.

The domestic production of maize has plunged to 1.3 million tons, only half of what is needed to feed the population. The prices on the other hand have increased by 50%, making it even harder for the affected people.

Oxfam estimates that in the entire southern Africa region, about 10 million people would face serious food shortages later this year if the developed countries don't act quickly. HIV/AIDS is also a major problem for southern Africa with the infection rate being as high as 40% of the adult population.

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