NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) _ The world is reacting too slowly to stop hunger from spreading in 15 sub- Saharan nations facing widespread drought, crop failure and effects of civil wars, the U.N. World Food Program says.

James Ingram, program director, said donor countries have pledged only 1.4 million tons of food - just over half of the 2.7 million tons needed by the African countries fighting food emergencies. An additional 115,000 tons of relief food was needed to feed war and drought refugees in seven countries.

''The world has largely failed to recognize the serious food shortages now facing countries in the Horn of Africa,'' Ingram said in a statement released Monday in Nairobi by the Rome-based organization.

He cited a rapid and unexpected deterioration in the situation, saying the programs emergency resources ''have been dwindling at an alarming pace.'' Ingram called on donors to urgently provide more food.

Ingram said an urgent need for food exists in Ethiopia and Mozambique. Both nations are fighting insurgencies that have worsened an already serious food shortage caused by drought.

Also facing critical food shortages were Angola, Malawi and Sudan.

Other needy countries Ingram listed were Botswana, Chad, Somalia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zaire and Zimbabwe.