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AFRICA: In eastern Africa, more than 13 million people face severe food shortages in Eritrea and Ethiopia mainly due to drought. Large amounts of food aid are urgently needed to stave off starvation. In southern Africa, the tight food supply situation has eased with improved food aid distributions. Prospects for the next harvest are generally favourable but production is anticipated to be reduced again in Zimbabwe. Poor rainfall is also reported in southern Mozambique. In western Africa, the food situation remains extremely serious in Mauritania, following three consecutive poor harvests.