Nearly 37 countries are facing food emergencies as against 31 countries that had faced food shortages towards the end of last year. The food shortages are mainly due to the effects of El Nio.
Reports suggest that eastern Africa has suffered severe loss of crops and livestock due to droughts and floods. Somalia experienced a sharp decline in the production of crops during 1997-98. Excessive rains reduced the recently harvested 1997 second season crops in Uganda.
According to estimates, food supplies in Eritrea during 1998 are expected to be tight following two successive reduced cereal harvests. Southern Africa has also experienced a major crop loss due to excessive rains and prolonged dry spells.
North Korea and the cis countries are already facing a grave food crisis and mainly relying on food aid to survive. El Nio-related droughts have affected cereal production in Indonesia, China, the Philippines, Thailand and Papua New Guinea.
Disturbances caused by El Nio this year threatened food supplies in Latin America. In the Caribbean, a majority part of food requirements of Haiti is being met by external aid.
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