Famine In 1997

On August 14, the United Nations released a list of nations in Africa which could face famine conditions over the next few months.

Sierra Leone and Tanzania are currently the worst off. In Sierra Leone, a military coup in May led many farmers to abandon their crops and as a result the country is currently in the midst of a food crises which could turn into a famine.

Burundi and Rwanda, still reeling from ethnic conflicts and massage refugee problems, have yet to recover to their pre-crisis position. In Rwanda, for example, food production is still almost 20 percent below what it was in 1990. As in Sierra Leone, military attacks have forced many farmers to flee.

Meanwhile up to 40 percent of the population in Burundi have abandoned their farms and fields.

Eastern Africa has been hit by a drought, sending food prices soaring in Kenya and Uganda. Tanzania has been especially hit hard with almost total crop failure in many significant agricultural areas.

The FAO reports that Angola, Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Liberia, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Somalia and Sudan are also in need of food aid.

If only the warlords in Africa would stop fighting long enough to let their people grow the food the continent needs to survive.

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