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Last Updated: Monday, 21 November 2005, 18:01 GMT
Zambia declares a food disaster
A maize packer gathers small supplies of grain
Maize stocks are low across southern Africa
Zambia's President Levy Mwanawasa has declared a national disaster and appealed for international food aid.

More than one million Zambians face severe food shortages due to drought. Last week, Zambia appealed for $18m in aid to deal with the food crisis.

Zambia is one of six countries across southern Africa facing a food crisis. The UN says some 12m people in the region need food aid.

Malawi is worst hit. It declared a national disaster last month.

Zambian MPs passed a resolution urging the government to declare a national disaster last week.

Some four million people need aid in Zimbabwe, along with hundreds of thousands in Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland, according to the World Food Programme.

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