Thursday, June 11, 1998 Published at 23:03 GMT 00:03 UK
UN declares famine in Sudan
Boiled leaves become a makeshift meal
The United Nations has officially declared the situation in Sudan to be one of famine.
The latest UN estimate says up to 1.2 million people now face starvation in the south of the country - many more than previously thought.
It is the first time that the word "famine" has been used to officially describe the crisis in southern Sudan.
The news came as Sudanese authorities met in the southern state of Bahr al-Ghazal to discuss the famine, according to the Suna news agency.
The Sudanese First Vice-President, Ali Uthman Muhammad Taha, was briefed on measures to tackle the food shortage.
The first warnings that many parts of rebel and government-held southern Sudan were likely to face extreme food shortages came in November last year.
Aid efforts are struggling to reach many areas, despite the use of extra planes. The air relief operation follows a month-long government ban on all aid flights in March that critically upset the nine-year-old UN relief effort known as Operation Lifeline Sudan.
David Fletcher, who works for the World Food Programme, says from next month they hope to increase food deliveries to 9,600 metric tonnes. Most of this would have to be delivered by air.
Mr Fletcher has also said that the WFP's Sudan operation is now suffering from a shortfall in donor funding of $117m.