As 1.75 million Zambian people face starvation, the country's officials have turned away a shipment of maize sent as part of an international emergency relief effort, because the maize is genetically modified. The drought stricken country in southern Africa has suffered severe food shortages as crops failed. Rural populations are meanwhile finding it more difficult to recover from hunger due to a 20% infection rate from HIV/AIDs. Zambia's President Levy Mwanawasa declared a national emergency with regard to the food shortages in May.