Burundi, the world's third poorest country is suffering from heavy food shortage and is desperately seeking help.
"At preset, we need 60 million dollars to alleviate the suffering of around 600,000 people who are hungry, who are the most vulnerable among the vulnerable," Jean-Charles Dei said.
AdvertisementHe was speaking at a joint news conference with the Burundian government.
"In 2008, we expect a shortfall of 486,000 tons of food goods in spite of a two-percent increase in harvests compared to the previous year," Dei said.
He said that 46 percent of the country's 8.1 million people suffered from chronic malnutrition, explaining that Burundi was self-sufficient in 1993 but that the population had since grown by 33 percent while production stagnated.
In 2007, the WFP handed out food aid to more than two million Burundians, or a fourth of the population. The agency had planned for 600,000 people but the country was struck by crippling downpours and floods.
Burundi, ranked the world's third poorest country by the World Bank, is struggling to emerge from a civil war that broke out in 1993 and has cost some 300,000 lives, mostly civilian.