Disasters & Accidents

Acute food insecurity to rise in 22 countries: UN

Rome, May 29 (EFE).- Some 22 countries will see an increase in acute food insecurity over the next six months, according to an early warning report published on Monday by the United Nations.

In the report, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization identified 18 hotspots with Afghanistan, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen placed at the highest alert level and Haiti, the Sahel (Burkina Faso and Mali) and Sudan elevated to the highest concern levels.

“Business-as-usual pathways are no longer an option in today’s risk landscape if we want to achieve global food security for all, ensuring that no one is left behind,” QU Dongyu, FAO Director-General, said.

“We need to provide immediate time-sensitive agricultural interventions to pull people from the brink of hunger, help them rebuild their lives, and provide long-term solutions to address the root causes of food insecurity. Investing in disaster risk reduction in the agriculture sector can unlock significant resilience dividends and must be scaled up,” he added.

The Hunger Hotspots – FAO-WFP early warnings on acute food insecurity report also highlighted the risk of a spill-over of the Sudan crisis raising the risk of neighboring countries to negative impacts.

In addition, global economic shocks and stressors continue to drive “acute hunger” across almost all hotspots, the UN report said.

With unusually high global food prices, low to middle income countries will likely be driven further into a deep crisis, it added.

Pakistan, the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria and Myanmar, which has been included in the latest report for the first time, were described as hotspots of very high concern.

“All these hotspots have a large number of people facing critical acute food insecurity, coupled with worsening drivers that are expected to further intensify life‑threatening conditions in the coming months,” the UNFAO warned.

Lebanon, El Salvador and Nicaragua have all been added to the list of hotspots, since the last edition was published and El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua have been included in the report again.

The UN has called for “urgent humanitarian action to save lives and livelihoods and prevent starvation and death in hotspots where acute hunger is at a high risk of worsening from June to November 2023.”

“Not only are more people in more places around the world going hungry, but the severity of the hunger they face is worse than ever,” said Cindy McCain, World Food Programme’s Executive Director.

“This report makes it clear: we must act now to save lives, help people adapt to a changing climate, and ultimately prevent famine. If we don’t, the results will be catastrophic,” McCain warned. EFE


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