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Southern Africa faces 'silent emergency'

The World Food Programme said Southern African states must work together to combat hunger.

Bayers Maluleke, a Johannesurg beggar. Picture: Matshidiso Madia/EWN

JOHANNEBSURG - Southern Africa faces serious food security problems despite a good maize harvesting season, the World Food Programme (WFP) warned on Monday.

Speaking at a media briefing in Johannesburg to mark World Hunger Day, the group said not all parts of the region had a good season.

WPF's David Orr said Southern Africa was facing a "silent emergency", caused by widespread malnutrition and HIV/Aids.

He said the region also faced nutrition security issues.

The United Nations agency said African governments must work more effectively to combat the problem.

It said government officials, development partners and non-governmental organisations will be key in addressing food security problems in the area.