Children carry bags of grain they picked up from a truck after it overturned spilling grain in the forest in Machinga, about 200 kilometres northeast of Blantyre, Malawi. File picture: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP


Pretoria – The Southern Africa Development Community is besieged with massive food shortages as regional assessments indicate cereal deficits of millions of tons.

Last year, the United Nations said the region was facing the worst drought in decades, affecting around 45 million people in 14 countries.

The worst affected nations include Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Political analyst Tino Mambeu told African News Agency (ANA) that the current wave of hunger could trigger mass movements of people to economies perceived to be better off, in a region already struggling to cope with mass flows across borders.

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“The current drought and poverty in the region will increase the movement of people from countries like Zimbabwe into South Africa. South Africa itself is facing challenges of a broken economy and unemployment,” said Mambeu.

“The influx of foreign nationals from Zimbabwe will heighten tensions and result in flare ups of xenophobic attacks.”

Mambeu said food security and economic development had everything to do with good governance, transparency, investment in research, and proper management of resources.