Published: Sunday 31 March 2002

Thousands of children under five years of age are suffering from malnourishment after a drought devastated subsistence crops in Guatemala. This was recently revealed by Deborah Hines, un World Food Programme (wfp) senior regional programme advisor for Latin America and the Caribbean.

The wfp has delivered several thousand tonnes of food aid to Guatemala and its Central American neighbours. "We feel the situation in Guatemala has reached emergency levels," Hines said. Hines pointed out that 73,000 Guatemalan children were suffering from life-threatening acute malnutrition, and about 5,000 were facing death in the coming months. She said at least 126 children had already died of malnutrition in Guatemala since the crisis began last year.

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