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African lands ask UN unit to help stem mass hunger

Representatives of 22 African nations met Wednesday for urgent talks with UN Food and Agriculture Organization officials in an attempt to limit mass hunger and malnutrition threatening their populations. The central and southern African states face crop failures caused by disease, droughts, lack of fertilizers, and the disruptions of war, said Edouard Saouma, who heads the UN agency.

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FAO officials said the aim of the one-day meeting was to exchange information in an effort to stem the deepening crisis. No pledges were sought, but donor countries were told that the 22 countries would need an estimated 5 million tons of cereal imports in the 1984 crop year, 600,000 tons more than in 1982 and '83.

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