AFRICA/DJIBOUTI - 30,000 people in Djibouti face food shortage because of drought. At least 5,000 families have no assistance, no food and nothing to sell to buy food

Monday, 2 May 2005

Djibouti (Fides Service) - About 30,000 people in Djibouti face a serious food shortage according to the United Nations World Food Programme WFP due to acute lack of rainfall in the past three years. WFP says its needs 2.5 million dollars to feed drought victims including 6,000 children under 5 for six months. At the moment WFP has enough food for 29,000 people for about a month, but then more money will be necessary .
Three of the country’s six rural regions are affected. Scarce rainfall over the last three years killed herds and reduced milk production considerably. People here are mainly subsistence farmers and their survival depends on the animals.
The government says most drought affected families have already lost their animals and remaining herds are weak and exposed to disease and parasites.
At least 5,000 families are abandoned without help, food, or anything to sell to buy food. Many families have been forced to move into urban centres, swelling the population of poor outer districts.
As food and milk prices rise so does the number of undernourished children. WFP has launched a programme to feed 6,000 children under five. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 2/5/2005 righe 24 parole 249)