Irrigating crops by hand near the banks of the Djoliba River, Bamako. - - Food Shortages Threaten 24 African Countries. The food supply outlook for Africa in 1984 remains serious with 24 countries facing emergency situations, according to the third situation report of the FAO/WFP Task Force on Africa. The report confirmed the Task Force's warning last October of a sharp drop in cereal production in the 24 countries last year. It called for the delivery of 1.6 million tonnes in food aid and for almost USD 100 million for agricultural rehabilitation in the affected countries, which have a combined population of over 150 million people. The Task Force estimated the total cereal requirement of the 24 countries for 1983/84 at 5.3 million tonnes, of which, 3.4 million tonnes are estimated to be food aid requirements. Since known food aid pledges totalled 1.75 million tonnes, there remains a food aid gap of 1.6 million tonnes of cereals, 700 000 tonnes of which must be delivered by March. Among the 24 countries are Gambia, Mali and Senegal.