Poor rains, El Nino leave 28 million in southern Africa vulnerable: SADC

Children watch as women pump water from a borehole near Malawi's capital Lilongwe, February 2, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - The Southern African Development Community (SADC) said on Friday 28 million people in the region were rendered vulnerable and in urgent need of “food and non-food” relief after last year’s poor rains were followed by an El Nino-triggered drought.

That is double the 14 million people whom the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said faced hunger in late January.

“The numbers are likely to increase in view of the current El Nino,” SADC said in a statement after a regional food security meeting in Johannesburg.

Reporting by Ed Stoddard; Editing by James Macharia