The World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) say in the next four months, conflict, COVID-19 and the climate crisis are likely to increase hunger in 23 countries.
Ms Eri Kaneko, the associate spokesperson for the Secretary-General, António Guterres said this while briefing correspondents at the UN headquarters yesterday in New York, on a new report released by the two UN agencies.
Kaneko said Ethiopia and Madagascar were the world’s newest “highest alert” hunger hotspots, according to the report.
“The highest alert list also includes South Sudan, Yemen, and northern Nigeria. In some areas of these countries, significant numbers of people are at risk of falling into famine.
“The report flags other countries where life-threatening hunger is on the rise. They include Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Honduras, Sudan, and Syria,’’ she said.
According to her, WFP and FAO say humanitarian action is urgently needed to prevent hunger, famine and death in all 23 hotspots.
In a statement, the UN agencies warned that efforts to fight a global surge in acute food insecurity were being stymied in several countries by fighting and blockades that cut off life-saving aid to families on the brink of famine.
It said humanitarian access constraints was another severe aggravating factor that hamper efforts to curb food crises and prevent starvation, death and a total collapse of livelihoods, increasing the risk of famine.
“Countries currently facing most significant obstacles preventing aid from reaching those who need it most include Afghanistan, Ethiopia, the Central African Republic, Mali, Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. (NAN)