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Unicef: SA drought has ripple effect on SADC food availability

The organisation revealed today that more than one million children in Africa are malnourished.

SA's inability to produce maize has an impact on the health of children in the SADC region. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (Unicef) says while South African children aren't severely affected by food insecurity due to the current drought, the country's inability to produce maize does have an impact on the health of children in other Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries.

The organisation revealed today that more than one million children in southern and eastern Africa are in need of treatment for severe malnutrition due to the worst drought in over two decades.

Unicef's Megan Gilgan says, "South Africa is a key food producer in the region, so what happens in South Africa is affecting availability of food for the region itself."

The country has, however, been lauded for putting strategies in place to mitigate against food and nutrition insecurity.

It's estimated that communities will take approximately two years to fully recover from this drought, provided agricultural conditions improve by the second half of the year.

WATCH: SA economy suffers as drought continues