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Severe drought threatens 45 million people with hunger across southern Africa

JOHANNESBURG — An estimated 45 million people are threatened with hunger due to a severe drought that is strangling wide stretches of southern Africa.

International aid agencies said they are planning emergency food deliveries for parts of South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and other countries hard hit by a combination of low rainfall and high temperatures as summer approaches in the southern hemisphere.

The U.N. World Food Program said southern Africa has received normal rainfall in just one of the past five growing seasons, which particularly hits small-scale farmers who depend on rain for their crops. The U.N. food agencies plan to distribute emergency food aid to 11 million people in the coming months.