Tuesday, June 22, 1999 Published at 18:08 GMT 19:08 UK
Hunger fear for Horn of Africa
The spectre of hunger hangs over the Horn again
The UN food agency, the World Food Programme (WFP), has warned that millions of people in the Horn of Africa face hunger, as a result of unusually short rains.
It says harvests in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya are all under threat.
WFP says the crisis is likely to be compounded by an infestation of caterpillars, known as army worms.
In Ethiopia, river beds which can normally only be crossed by boat are now completely dry, and are being used by children as make-shift football pitches.
In the province of Wollo - the centre of the Ethiopian famine of 1984 - WFP says some villages have been deserted by their inhabitants, as they search for food.
Most crops have been impossible to grow, and people have now sold all they can to survive.
Last week, WFP appealed for $40 million to help it pay for an emergency operation to feed over a million people in eight regions of Ethiopia.
Somalia and Kenya are also facing major food shortages.
In neighbouring Somalia, livestock have been dying of thirst, while fighting has hampered the delivery of emergency aid.
Rains are not due in the region for months, and WFP says millions now face major food shortages.