Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Crisis meeting on the famine in Northern Uganda

The Ugandan government held a crisis meeting to respond to 35 deaths due to starvation in northern Uganda. A food shortage in northern Uganda has been attributed to many factors, from armed conflict to floods and more.

From All Africa Halima Abdallah reports on the emerging famine.

Food stocks in the north and the east have for long been threatened by insecurity -- which made millions of people to be confined to camps for the internally displaced for about two decades as a result of Lord's Resistance Army rebels and Karamajong raiders.

But, of late, merchants from Southern Sudan have been buying virtually everything, from livestock to crops in the field, offering irresistible prices.

MPs, however, cite natural factors such as intermittent floods which cause lower production of food.

In the east, for instance, floods in late 2007 destroyed many crops.

The floods were said to be a result of climate change due to environmental degradation. Subsequently, the area was hit by prolonged drought.

"We are appealing to all Ugandans who have something to offer, the Food and Agricultural Organisation and the World Food Programme, to come to the rescue of our people," said Elijah Okupa, an MP at the crisis meeting.

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