The minister for agriculture, Vincent Ssempijja, says the number of Ugandans in need of food aid has shot up to 1.5 million people from 1.3 million registered in November 2016.
The minister made the statement in parliament while delivering a paper on the government’s strategic policy action on food security in the country. He also adds that an extra 26% of the population is on the brink of falling into the fast spreading hunger that has hit the country.
Central Uganda tops the list of the regions hardest hit by the hunger crisis, with over 580,000 people. It was followed closely by the North and Eastern parts of the country.
The government also notes that the hunger is arising out of a drought that hit the country slowing down both food and livestock production.
Images of dried up plantations and starving children have been common in the media in recent months, pointing to a rising number of people suffering from hunger.
The government now says it will deliver food aid to at least 1.5 million people in the coming three months to stem the crisis. The authorities also plan to implement a comprehensive intervention programme worth 1.8 trillion shillings in the next four years to avoid a repeat of the situation.
A report on the effects of climate change authored in 2015 and handed to government by climate experts warned with striking accuracy that drought and hunger would hit most parts of the country. But its suggestions were largely ignored.