The United Nations (UN) has warned that acute hunger will increase in more than 20 countries over the next few months. According to a new report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP), an estimated 34 million people globally will be affected by starvation due to Covid-19 and associated economic losses as Yemeni and South Sudanese families are already struggling with hunger.
A new report from the United Nations, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP), warned that more than 20 countries will be affected by acute starvation in the coming months.
Acute hunger means that food shortages become fatal, and military conflicts are driven by climate shocks and the Covid-19 pandemic. It also combines with storms of desert locusts in some places, causing major famines.
The report, which explains the world’s new hunger points, highlighted that families living in Yemen and South Sudan are already struggling with hunger, while an estimated 34 million people are struggling with emergency hunger levels known as IPC (Integrated Food Safety Stage Classification 4), which means they are “one step away from starvation.”
However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Latin America will be the region most affected by the economic downturn and where recovery will be slowest, the report said. In addition, the Middle East, Yemen, Syria and Lebanon have been severely affected by the rapid devaluation of the currency and rising inflation.
More than 7 million people in South Sudan are projected to face acute food insecurity at crisis levels from April to July, while more than 16 million Yemenis are expected to experience high levels of food insecurity by June, while other countries identified as the worst hunger hotspots include Burkina Faso, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Sudan and Syria.
FAO chief executive Qu Dongyu said in a statement: “The magnitude of the pain is very worrying. Now it is our duty to act quickly and save lives, protect their livelihoods and prevent the worst situation.”
“Acute hunger began in many regions as of October. We must run against time and ensure that it protects, or even increases, local food production.”
David Beasley, executive director of the WFP, said: “We are seeing a catastrophe unsured. Famine caused by military conflict feeds on climate shocks and the Covid-19 pandemic and threatens millions of families.”
Beaslay, however, said three factors are needed to prevent more than 30 million people from starving to death: cessation of hostilities, greater access to vulnerable communities and increased donations to poor countries.
Meanwhile, earlier this month, the FAO and WFP called for $5.5 billion in humanitarian food aid, cash and emergency livelihood interventions to prevent starvation.