The United Nations says nearly 12 million people in southern Africa need emergency food aid, mainly in Zimbabwe and Malawi.

In a report released Tuesday, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization says food insecurity in the region is a serious concern despite a bumper corn harvest in South Africa.

The report says only half of the 50,000 tons of corn seed that Zimbabwe normally requires is believed to be available. It says in many parts of the country, access to food is hampered by high inflation, fuel and transport problems, and a scarcity of grain on the market.

The report also says commercial imports and food aid deliveries in Malawi have been scarce, despite large pledges by international donors.

The report says eastern Africa is enjoying a better harvest than last year but that the overall food situation in that region remains "precarious."

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.