President Barack Obama has invited four African leaders to join food security talks at the annual G8 summit this month.
Presidents Yayi Boni of Benin, John Mills of Ghana and Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, and Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia will attend the summit at the presidential retreat in Camp David.
They will join Obama and other leaders of G8 member nations for a session on food security in Africa, the White House said in a statement.
G8 — or Group of Eight — comprises Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The summit planned for May 18-19 comes amid fears of famine and drought in some parts of Africa.
Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya battled drought last year, and aid groups have warned that several other nations are at risk of a hunger crisis.
“A combination of drought, poverty, high grain prices, environmental degradation and chronic under-development is affecting Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Chad, northern Cameroon and Nigeria,” the United Nations said this year. “More than 10 million people are struggling to get enough to eat, including 5.4 million in Niger.”
The food and nutrition insecurity threatens the fragile development the region has made, according to Valerie Amos, the U.N. aid chief.