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Escalating hunger in Eastern Africa
Poor 2009 crop prospects in the Horn of Africa following below-average rains, combined with conflict and displacement are aggravating an already serious food insecurity situation in the region, FAO said today.
Nearly 20 million people currently depend on food assistance in the region, and this number may increase as the hunger season progresses, particularly among marginal farmers, pastoralists and low-income urban dwellers.
The effects of El Niño, which usually brings heavy rains towards the end of the year, could make matters worse, resulting in floods and mudslides, destroying crops both in the field and in stores, increasing livestock losses and damaging infrastructure and housing.