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Worst Drought in Decades Grips Swathe of North Africa

  • Morocco rainfall for grains season is lowest in three decades
  • King Mohammed VI called for nationwide prayers for rain
Farmers at a dried river bank near Saidia, Morocco. The country faces acute droughts every two to three years.

Farmers at a dried river bank near Saidia, Morocco. The country faces acute droughts every two to three years.

Photographer: Fadel Senna/AFP/Getty Images

Wheat is wilting, and cities are planning to ration water, as stretches of North Africa’s grain belt suffer the worst drought in 30 years.

Rain is scant in Morocco this growing season, with the amount of moisture since September at its lowest in at least three decades. Parts of Algeria and Tunisia also are dry, running the risk of smaller harvests that may boost reliance on foreign supply at a time of near-record food costs.