"Drought Pushes Millions Into ‘Acute Hunger’ in Southern Africa"

"The disaster, intensified by El Niño, is devastating communities across several countries, killing crops and livestock and sending food prices soaring."

"An estimated 20 million people in southern Africa are facing what the United Nations calls “acute hunger” as one of the worst droughts in more than four decades shrivels crops, decimates livestock and, after years of rising food prices brought on by pandemic and war, spikes the price of corn, the region’s staple crop.

Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe have all declared national emergencies.

It is a bitter foretaste of what a warming climate is projected to bring to a region that’s likely to be acutely affected by climate change, though scientists said on Thursday that the current drought is more driven by the natural weather cycle known as El Niño than by global warming.

Its effects are all the more punishing because in the past few years the region had been hit by cyclones, unusually heavy rains and a widening outbreak of cholera."

Somini Sengupta and Manuela Andreoni report for the New York Times April 18, 2024.

Source: NYTimes, 04/19/2024