The impact of HIV/AIDS is behind the food crisis in Southern Africa, The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said on Monday.
Some 15 million people across the region face food shortages due to drought, failed government policy and HIV/AIDS.
"HIV/AIDS causes and exacerbates food insecurity in a number of ways. Illness and death of productive household members leave families unable to farm and indebted with high medical and funeral costs," FAO said in a statement.
The FAO comment came during an appeal for US $15 million to help more than half a million vulnerable households in the region.
"The pandemic places families in situations of extreme vulnerability, which forces people, particularly women, to adopt risky behaviour just to put enough food on the table - further fuelling the spread of the disease," FAO added.
The organisation said the up-dated appeal will raise funds for projects that focus assistance on female-headed households and families affected by HIV/AIDS.
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