KAMPALA, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- The Ugandan government and the UN World Food Program (WFP) on Friday announced that the northeastern part of the country is facing an acute food crisis that is likely to slip into famine if no urgent action is taken.
Musa Ecweru, minister of state for disaster preparedness and relief, told reporters here that the situation is severe following massive crop failure and warned that the acute malnutrition levels are close to emergency.
"When you reach Karamoja (northeastern region) you will see cases of malnutrition, the elderly are in dire need of support," he said flanked by Stanlake Samkange, WFP country director.
The food crisis in the region has been escalating for years and was heightened by the 2007 floods and a severe drought which destroyed all the crops, putting over 970,000 people at risk of starvation.
Ecweru announced that government and WFP will in the first week of February unveil a 64 million U.S. dollar emergency response package that will be used to purchase 89,000 metric tonnes of food.